Driver to undergo mental evaluation
By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a 40-year-old Volcano woman facing charges stemming from an April hit-and-run traffic collision in Hilo that killed a 20-year-old bicyclist.
Three mental health professionals will submit reports on whether Alison Elizabeth Taylor is fit to stand trial, and Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura on Wednesday set a hearing on those reports for Feb. 15 at 8 a.m.
Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville told the judge that Taylor “does have a documented history of being under psychiatric care at the time of the offense.”
Taylor has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, first-degree negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. According to police, on April 11 at about 7:30 a.m., Taylor was driving a 2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck south on Kinoole Street between Ohea and Puainako streets when she struck Brody Winslow, a Hawaii Community College psychology student, who was riding a bicycle in the same direction.
Police say Taylor then hit a utility pole, severing it, and fled south on Kinoole before being pulled over at the intersection of West Palai Street by Assistant Chief Marshall Kanehailua.
Winslow, originally from Wrightsville Beach, N.C., was pronounced dead less than an hour later at Hilo Medical Center.
Prosecutors allege that Taylor was under the influence of alcohol and drugs including clonazepam, morphine and tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, at the time of the crash.
Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, while negligent homicide carries a possible 10-year prison term. Taylor cannot be convicted on both charges.
Taylor, an employee at Thai Thai Restaurant in Volcano, is a former pharmacy technician at Windward Pharmacy in the Puainako Town Center in Hilo who was awarded a certificate of merit from the Hawaii Police Department for helping stop an armed robbery there in 2010. The pharmacy was bought out by the Walgreens chain and has since closed.
Winslow’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Taylor. The suit alleges that Taylor “acted in a careless and negligent manner” while driving, and seeks unspecified general, special and punitive damages for “emotional distress, loss of consortium, society, companionship, comfort, support, economic support, care and attention.”
Taylor is free on $25,000 bond.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.