|For Immediate Release
Case # 09HF2198
March 11, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRIVER UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON
FOR HIT-AND-RUN DEATH OF BICYCLIST
SANTA ANA – A 38-year-old driver was sentenced today to three years in state prison for killing a bicyclist by crashing into him and then fleeing the scene. Patricia Ann Izquieta, Riverside, pleaded guilty to the court Feb. 1, 2011, to one felony count of hit and run with death or permanent 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.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2009, Izquieta was driving 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. The crash caused Murphy to be thrown from his bicycle to the curb, rendering him unconscious with no pulse. A witness at the scene called 911.
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. The defendant remained in her parked car until she was found by police in the restaurant parking lot.
It was determined that Izquieta took prescription medications prior to the crash that impaired her driving including Methadone, Hydromorphone, and Clonezepam.
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.
During the sentencing today, the victim’s daughter, brother, and two friends gave impact statements to the court. All described Murphy as a great man, father, and friend who volunteered his time at halfway houses to help recovering addicts. Friend David Slaton explained that he had been riding with Murphy the day that he was killed. Slaton discussed the horror of seeing his friend lying on the ground unable to move and the wreckage of Murphy’s bicycle shattered along the street where Izquieta dragged it as she fled the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.