Paso Robles News|Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Distracted driver pleads no contest to vehicular manslaughter 

–Lisa Smith, 55, has been sentenced to three years of formal supervised probation and ordered to complete 200 hours of community work service for vehicular manslaughter. Smith was talking on a cellular phone while driving on State Route 227 when she struck and killed a bicyclist in July of 2016.

As part of her community work service hours. Smith is required to participate in speaking engagements addressing the repercussions of distracted driving. On July 11. 2016, Smith was driving northbound on State Route 227, just South of Briddle Ranch, when she collided with the victim, Bridget Dawson, who was riding her bicycle on the right shoulder. At the time of the accident. Smith was distracted while talking on her phone. Smith’s vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder striking Dawson’s bicycle. Dawson was thrown from her bicycle causing the fatal injuries.

Said District Attorney Dan Dow, “This is a tragic reminder of the potentially horrific unintended consequences of driving while distracted. Please. don’t do it.”

Smith was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Dodie Harman in Department 5 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo Division of the California Highway Patrol and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner.



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