Hit-and-run trial date set for May


By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

Trial has been set for a 40-year-old Volcano woman facing charges stemming from an April 2012 traffic collision in Hilo that killed a 20-year-old bicyclist.

Psychiatrists Drs. Henry Yang and Alex Bisset and psychologist Olaf Gitter have all found Alison Taylor fit to stand trial. Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura on Friday set trial for May 20 at 9 a.m.

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 North Carolina, was pronounced dead less than an hour later at Hilo Medical Center.

Taylor’s court-appointed attorney, Christopher Bridges, said after the hearing that his client has “no memory at all” of the incident.

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. A prosecutor has also said in open court that Taylor was under psychiatric care at that time.

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 to foil an armed robbery there in 2010. The pharmacy has since closed.

Winslow’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Taylor.

Taylor is free on $25,000 bond.

 

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