Whitney Decesaris, the driver who hit and killed Trish Cunningham on Riva Road just south of Annapolis had one of her four traffic citations waived, for the odd reason that her driving was actually worse than what she was cited for.
Decesaris had avoided criminal charges, when a grand jury opted not to indict her, but still received "four traffic citations that would accrue points against her driver’s license and carry a total of $2,000 in fines. She appealed the citations..."
[District Court Judge Robert C.] Wilcox found her guilty of three of the four traffic citations — failure to exercise caution, negligent driving and failure to control speed — each carrying a maximum fine of $500. Saying there was no evidence that Decesaris made any attempt to drive around Cunningham, he dismissed a charge of driving left of the center line and unsafe passing.
If she had tried to avoid hitting her, her punishment would have been worse than for not paying attention and running her down from behind. That seems wrong to me.
This part is pretty amazing too
A defense witness, Richard Garden, a Severna Park oral surgeon, said he was driving behind Decesaris and did not see the cyclist.
“I really didn’t see the van do anything at impact,” Garden said. “I saw it jerk to the left, but not much.”
Garden said he drives that portion of Riva Road daily, and was talking with his wife by cellphone when the collision occurred.
What??? I wonder why he didn't see the cyclist. It couldn't have been the phone call he was making.
The lawyer said that the reason that Decesaris fought the tickets was that she wanted her "day in court." She's entitled to that, but I don't buy it, and I found it particularly galling and callous. Especially since her story doesn't match what witnesses said.
Decesaris wept as she said she saw Cunningham climbing a hill ahead of her mini-van, “swerved to avoid hitting her, and I heard contact with my vehicle.”
Neil Tatterson testified that he was driving behind Decesaris, that he saw Cunningham ahead of them both and that he did not see Decesaris’s brake lights come on before she struck the cyclist. He said Decesaris did not swerve until she hit the bike.
It's likely she fought the tickets in the hope of avoiding some civil liability.