|For Immediate Release
Case # 09HF2198
February 1, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRIVER UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS CONVICTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN DEATH OF BICYCLIST
SANTA ANA – A 38-year-old woman was convicted today for killing a bicyclist by crashing into him and then fleeing the scene. Patricia Ann Izquieta, Riverside, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of hit and run with permanent death or injury, one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. The defendant is expected to be sentenced to three years in state prison at her sentencing March 11, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-49, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2009, Izquieta drove her Saturn SUV northbound on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach in the far right-hand lane. The victim, Donald Murphy, was riding his bicycle along the curb behind two of his friends. Izquieta drifted towards the curb and hit Murphy from behind, causing Murphy to be thrown from his bicycle to the curb, rendering him unconscious with no pulse. Izquieta caused significant damage to the front hood and windshield of her car from the collision.
The defendant fled the scene, dragging the victim’s bicycle under her car for over a mile before stopping in a Coco’s Bakery Restaurant parking lot. A witness at the scene called 911.The defendant remained in her parked car until she was found by police in the restaurant parking lot. Izquieta took prescription medications including Methadone, Hydromorphone, and Clonezepam, which impaired her driving.
The 49-year-old victim was transported to Western Medical Center and died a day later due to severe head and neck injuries caused by the crash.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.