Elderly Woman Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter

An elderly woman is being charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with a deadly pedestrian wreck that happened in La Jolla last year. According to NBC San Diego Channel Seven News, 92-year-old Mary Catherine O’Neil will be arraigned on charges later this month.

In October of 2014, the incident took the life of Melissa Bonney Ratcliff, the vice president of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was unloading her car, when O’Neil’s vehicle backed into her. Initial investigations revealed that O’Neil was not using her rear-view mirror at the time of the wreck. She is also facing charges of unlawful backing. Prosecutors aren’t seeking jail time, but City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is hoping this case will raise awareness about risks associated with elderly drivers and declining driving abilities.

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