EUGENE, Ore. – An Oregon woman has pleaded guilty to hitting a pedestrian and carrying him on top of her car for 11 blocks before dumping the man along a side road. The 67-year-old man died from his injuries.
Isabel McDaniel, 31, of Veneta pleaded guilty Thursday to criminally negligent homicide in the Dec. 11, 2014 death of Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga, the Register-Guard newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1ZaR4nh ).
McDaniel was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison, but will be eligible to have that term reduced by a year or more for good behavior.
She did not make any statement during her sentencing hearing, but defense attorney John Halpern said afterward that McDaniel is "a very nice woman" who accepts responsibility for her actions.
"She's going to do the time she has to do, get out and then go on with her life," he said.
McDaniel is married and has four children. She had no prior criminal record but pleaded guilty to a number of crimes Thursday, including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, tampering with evidence and hit-and-run driving.
Attorneys representing Ortiz-Reynaga's family say they plan to file a wrongful-death lawsuit in connection with the crash.
Evidence shows McDaniel was drinking alcohol at a Eugene bar before she collided with another vehicle and drove away from the fender-bender, prosecutor JoAnn Miller said. She struck Ortiz-Reynaga about 25 minutes later.
Ortiz-Reynaga lived in Mexico and was in Springfield visiting his adult son, Julio Ortiz. The two men were crossing the street when McDaniel hit Ortiz-Reynaga, knocking him onto her windshield and then the car's roof. Her car clipped the younger man, causing minor injuries.
Miller said McDaniel had a green light when she hit the men and that her case might have turned out differently if she hadn't fled the scene.
"But instead, she made the criminal decision to keep driving," said Miller.
Authorities say McDaniel drove more than a mile with Ortiz-Reynaga on the top of her car before removing him. Police found the man lying in the road after someone called 911 to report seeing the body. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Court documents say McDaniel's husband helped her hide evidence. He is scheduled for trial on Feb. 9.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com