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13 years for driver high on TEN drugs who killed cyclist

Melinda Woodall said she was distracted by her passengers when she hit man in bike lane

A driver who hit and killed a cyclist while high on 10 different drugs has been sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Melinda Woodall, aged 34, hit Michael Prater on Kellogg Avenue in Cincinnati in January before fleeing the scene.

The windscreen was crushed in the impact with his head and the victim’s hair was found inside the car itself.

"These pictures, your honor, show she knew she hit a human being and left him by the side of the road to die like an animal,” the prosecutor told Woodall’s trial jury.

Woodall called it: ”a horrible mistake I will pay for the rest of my life,” according to WCPO.

Woodall had taken a cocktail of prescription pills, and was found with five syringes that had contained drugs, and a metal spoon and tourniquet. She admitted heroin use to the police.

She said that passengers in the back of her car were distracting her, and denied that the drug use was a factor. She said that she panicked and fled following the collision.

Woodall read a statement in court, saying: ”Every time I have a conversation with my family or my children makes me think how the Prater family is left wishing how they could hear their loved ones voice.”

But Michael Prater’s family said the collision, in which the victim was riding in a bike lane, was ‘senseless’.

"She hasn't had a license for a long time - she continued to drive," said Steve Magas. "She had a history of drug abuse for a long time - she continued to drive. This crash was just waiting to happen.”

Cincinnati's cycling community has dedicated a ghost bike to remind motorists of Michael’s fate.

"We need to study and learn from it, move forward and work to make sure that things like this don't happen again," said Frank Henson of Queen City Bike.


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