An 18-year-old driver hit a 77-year-old woman last week due to falling asleep as he was driving his car. The event took place in Tacoma, and the elderly woman was quickly transferred to a hospital, where she passed away.
Teen Driver Falls Asleep and Kills a Woman
Justice Tatum Oates was charged with vehicular homicide for the death of Karin Woodbury. The young man pleaded not guilty. Additionally, he was charged for driving with a suspended license and failing to remain at the spot of the accident. The judge, Sabrina Ahrens, set the bail at $200,000.
It all happened when they found Woodbury lying unconscious in the street at 9:30 p.m. on May 14th on the Avenue Northeast. The woman was quickly transferred to Joseph Medical Center, where she died from sustained injuries in less than 24 hours.
Near the place of the accident, the police found multiple mailboxes and trash cans smashed. The witnesses claim that they’ve seen a car going very fast, wrecking the entire neighborhood.
Upon speaking with a detective, Oates said that he was working long hours before the accident, which is the reason why he fell asleep while driving. He was headed to his friend’s house but decided to go home instead.
Oats claims that he was completely unaware that he had hit anybody until his friend called him and told him that he had hit a woman. The detective asked what Oats did once he found out, to which he replied — nothing. In his words, he waited for the police to come and get him because he knew they would find out.
Justice’s mother, Ms. Whitney Reed, said outside the court on Tuesday that her son had no idea he had hit anyone. She claims it was a complete accident.
On the other side, the family of Karin is mourning and recalling the days when this elderly lady was full of life. Her family said that just a couple of days prior to the accident, she topped a tree in her backyard and washed the rooftop. They say that Karin was always very active and young in spirit.
Karin’s son disclosed that she worked in Federal Way Public School for a very long time. She first started as a crossing guard, but later on, she began to help children with special needs. Her former students have expressed their condolences and are still mourning Woodbury and the legacy she left behind.