Driver Plead Not Guilty and Did Not Appear in Court Wednesday
Shantel Witt, 41, is accused of hitting 38-year-old Marika Stone of Bend with her pickup truck as Stone was cycling with two other people in late December. Stone died of her injuries.
Witt was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday and friends, family and local cyclists filled the courtroom to support the Stone family. However, just before 9 a.m. it was announced to the packed courtroom that Witt’s case would not be called.
Witt entered a plea of not guilty out of court and Deschutes County Court scheduled Witt’s trial for January 29, 2019.
During Witt’s January hearing, deputy district attorney Kari Hathorn said Witt had briefly drove off after hitting Stone but returned to the scene to yell at Stone’s surviving companions.
Witt also failed three field sobriety tests at the scene and acknowledged to officers that she took painkillers and muscle relaxers, according to court records. Officers found empty beer cans, prescription drugs and a 9mm pistol in her vehicle.
The woman who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist is now on house arrest and banned from consuming any alcohol until her arraignment in February.
Shantel Lynn Witt, 41, of Alfalfa had her first hearing today after she was arrested on Dec. 30 and charged with DUII, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another, Reckless Driving and Manslaughter in the First Degree.
Witt was allegedly driving under the influence on the evening of Dec. 30 when her car crossed over into the opposite lane and struck 38-year-old Marika Stone who was biking with two other people near the corner of Dodds and Obernolte Road in Deschutes County. Stone was declared dead at the scene.
Roughly 30 local cyclists and community members attended today’s hearing to support Stone’s family.
Witt’s bail was set at $270,000. She posted 10 percent of this amount and, per Oregon law, was released from jail. During her first court appearance on Tuesday, the state attorney asked that Witt’s bail be increased, that she be put on house arrest, that she be given an alcohol monitor and that her driving privileges be revoked.
The judge did not raise Witt’s bail but he did agree to revoke Witt’s driving privileges. The judge also ordered Witt to wear an alcohol monitor, banned from purchasing or consuming alcohol and put on house arrest.
Witt will be back in court for her arraignment on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. and many of the local cyclists said they’ll be back again to support Stone’s family and represent Bend’s biking community.
It’s an event that draws professional cyclists from all around the world, but a change intended to bring the world’s best riders to this year’s Cascade Cycling Classic had some unintended consequences.
Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker looks at why, when it comes to pay, men and women are not on the same playing field.
***THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE – Combined with the more than $5k raised by the GoFundMe campaign, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and the Nicole Reinhardt Fund kicked in more than $10k to officially equalize the purses for both men and women for all stages of this week’s Cascade Cycling Classic.
The Cascade Cycling Classic kicked off Wednesday with the first stage of the five day event as racers made their way from Prineville to the top of McKenzie Pass.
Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom was on the course taking in all of the action.
Housing can be difficult to find on an average day in Bend, but when you have hundreds of riders looking for housing for days on end it can be both difficult and expensive. Teams in town for the Cascade Cycling Classic this week often turn to kind families willing to open up their homes to house them for the duration of the event.
Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker spoke with a family that is hosting members of the Hanger 15 Cycling Team, and two of the riders themselves.
Courtney Van Fossan is on a mission to bring the experience of riding a bike back to Bend’s aging community members. Cycling Without Age Bend would be part of a worldwide network using a “trishaw” and volunteers to take seniors for day trips, using the principles of slow riding, generosity, storytelling, and relationships. You can donate and get more info HERE!
Tour des Chutes co-founder and Sunnyside Sports owner Gary Bonacker along with Tour des Chutes Executive Director Sarah McDougall stopped by Central Oregon Daily to talk about how the annual non-competitive bike ride/walk/run got started and how you can participate in this year’s event on July 8th.
More info and registration at http://www.tourdeschutes.org/
Proceeds benefit LOCAL cancer survivors.
For a community that prides itself on access to nature, it can be hard to find a secluded spot that you can have all to yourself. For this week’s Destination Oregon, sponsored by Robberson Ford, Mackenzie Wilson takes us to a bike trail along the Crooked River that could be just the thing for cyclists looking to get away from it all.