Thursday, May 11, 2017

Drunk Driver Sent to Prison after Fatally Injuring Woman Getting her Mail

Here's a terrible conclusion to an already sad story from March.

2400 block of Fisher Road, looking North - no sidewalks
From the police back in mid-March:
A Salem woman is in custody following a crash where her vehicle left a roadway, struck several mailboxes and critically injured a pedestrian.*

At about 10:50 am on March 16, 72-year old Sandra Hill was walking to her mailbox in the 2400 block of Fisher Rd NE to retrieve mail that had just been delivered. As she was near her mailbox, a 2006 Hyundai Sonata that was traveling southbound on Fisher Rd struck the mailboxes and caused the injuries to Mrs. Hill.

The driver of the Hyundai, 44-year old Vanessa Marie Gienapp, left the scene of the crash, but stopped a short distance away. The Postal Service carrier who had just delivered the mail saw the victim laying in the driveway and noticed the Hyundai had stopped in the 2300 block of Fisher Rd. Suspecting that the Hyundai had been involved in some type of crash involving the victim and fearing that the Hyundai may attempt to leave, the Postal Service worker used her vehicle to block the Hyundai from leaving the scene. She remained in that position until officers arrived.
Sandra Hill was transported to Salem Health with life-threatening injuries. After performing Field Sobriety Tests on driver Vanessa Gienapp, officers placed her in custody for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. The suspect was transported to the Salem Police Department and later to the Marion County Corrections Facility. She remains in custody on charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

There are no updates available on the condition of Sandra Hill. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.
Additional charges were warranted. Here's the sad, sad sequel from today in SJ:
A Salem woman was sentenced to six years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to hitting and killing a woman with her car while driving under the influence....

Hill was taken to Salem Health hospital with life-threatening injuries. She died April 3 from her injuries....

After Hill died, the assault charge was upgraded to second-degree manslaughter....

Marion County Judge Rafael Caso sentenced Gienapp on Friday to six years and three months in prison, the Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentence. Her driver's license was also permanently revoked.
Killed in 2017
Killed in 2016:
Killed in 2015:

* Edit: "a crash where she left the roadway, struck several mailboxes and critically injured a pedestrian with her car." And "Gienapp was driving her 2006 Hyundai Sonata southbound on Fisher Rd when she struck the mailboxes and caused the injuries to Mrs. Hill." Or something similar.

"Dangerous instrumentality" - They knew in 1921!
One of these days police will get the agency right (today's story in the paper did): A person operating a motor vehicle hits and kills someone, not some autonomous, robot car mysteriously traveling, leaving the roadway, and striking people. The driver, a person, is the subject of the sentences with active verbs; the person struck is the object of those verbs. The car is an instrument used by others - that "dangerous instrumentality" - and is not itself the agent and subject. (Though hopefully in a few years we will not be actually writing and thinking about robot cars that hit and kill people.)

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