A Whitehall woman who caused a fatal crash this summer by following too closely in traffic on I-70 was placed on probation yesterday for three years.
Liz J. Duncan, 50, of Fairway Boulevard, pleaded no contest last month to vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, and failure to maintain an assured clear distance ahead.
Police said Duncan was driving west on I-70 near the Miller Avenue exit on the Near East Side just before 6 p.m. on June 11 when her car slammed into the back of a car driven by Cathy M. Warner, 63.
Warner died the next day at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.
In addition to probation, Franklin County Municipal Judge Michael T. Brandt suspended Duncan’s driver’s license for two years, imposed $650 in fines and ordered her to perform 150 hours of community service.
If she violates probation, the judge could send her to jail for 90 days, the maximum penalty for vehicular manslaughter.
There was no alcohol, drugs or speeding involved, Brandt said.
“It was driver inattention,” he said. “You have to be totally aware of everything when you’re driving or something like this can happen.”
Warner was driving a Scion iQ when she was struck while stopped or slowing down in freeway traffic, said Sgt. Brooke Wilson of the accident investigation squad.
Such crashes occur “dozens of times a week,” he said. “It’s rare that there’s a fatality.”
John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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