A California woman was arrested Sunday on suspicion of DUI and manslaughter after witnesses saw her driving with a critically injured man on the hood of her car.
Sherri Wilkins, 51, of Torrance, was allegedly driving drunk when she hit Phillip Moreno, 31, as he was walking across the street. Somehow Moreno flew up onto the hood of her car and his body got stuck in her windshield, police told Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV.
Rather than stop the vehicle and try to help the man, Wilkins continued driving for 2 miles after the hit-and-run. But she couldn’t escape the scrutiny of other pedestrians.
Eventually, witnesses persuaded Wilkins to stop so they could help Moreno, reports New York Daily News. He was still alive at that point, but he was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived.
Moreno later died at a hospital.
Wilkins was arrested at the scene and had a blood-alcohol level that was twice the legal limit. Police booked her for DUI, manslaughter, and felony hit-and-run. If prosecutors agree, she’ll be charged with those crimes.
Any time you get behind the wheel after drinking, you run the risk of being arrested for a DUI. In most states, the legal limit for blood-alcohol content is 0.08 percent, and while many sources say that’s the equivalent of two drinks, everyone handles alcohol differently. If you feel tipsy, it’s a good idea to find a designated driver, no matter how much you’ve had.
If you’re arrested for drunken driving, it’s a good idea to get an attorney on your side. While you may not be able to get rid of the charges, you could reduce any punishments with some legal help.
But Wilkins likely won’t get much leniency given the seriousness of what allegedly happened. A hit-and-run is a serious offense, and the fact that Moreno died won’t help her case.
Even if Wilkins didn’t intend to kill Moreno, she can still be convicted of manslaughter if a jury decides her actions were reckless.
It’s also possible she’ll plead guilty in the hopes of a lesser sentence.
This isn’t the first time Wilkins has dealt with combined DUI and hit-and-run charges, according to KNBC. She left the scene of a crash in 2010 that caused property damage, but the case was ultimately dropped. She may not be so lucky this time around.