EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A driver has pleaded not guilty to a more serious charge of manslaughter after being accused of hitting a pedestrian with such force that he flipped on top of her car, carrying him on the roof for 11 blocks and leaving him in the street to die.
A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Isabel Gloria McDaniel on charges of manslaughter and intoxicated driving in the hit-and-run death of Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga in Springfield, and she entered her plea the same day, the Register-Guard reported (http://bit.ly/1wHZN5V ). Prosecutors previously charged her with criminally negligent homicide.
Her lawyer, Laura Fine Moro, declined to comment after the court appearance and did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.
McDaniel, 30, was arrested Saturday in the Dec. 11 death of Ortiz-Reynaga, a 67-year-old Mexican citizen who was crossing the street with his son.
The impact flipped Ortiz-Reynaga onto the luggage rack atop McDaniel's car and she drove with him on the roof until she removed him and left him at an intersection, police said. The car clipped son Julio Ortiz, 39, of Springfield, who suffered minor injuries.
Investigators suspect that McDaniel had used both alcohol and drugs before hitting Ortiz-Reynaga and that she had left the scene of a fender-bender accident 25 minutes earlier about 15 miles away in west Eugene, police Sgt. David Lewis said Wednesday. Another motorist's car was damaged, but no one was hurt.
Police said tips from the public led them Saturday to McDaniel's home west of Eugene in Veneta, where they found a white Honda that had damage consistent with having been in a collision. Her 24-year-old husband, Gary Louis McDaniel, has also been charged with tampering with evidence, a misdemeanor.
Under Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing law, the new charge of second-degree manslaughter carries a term of at least six years and three months, the newspaper reported.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com