Cayucos woman pleads guilty in death of bicyclist

September 11, 2013
Jessica Whitney Goddard

Jessica Whitney Goddard

A Cayucos woman who crashed her car into two bicyclists last week, killing one and injuring the other, pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and driving under the influence on Tuesday. [KSBY]

Four days earlier, Jessica Whitney Goddard, 29, pleaded not guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causing injury, but she changed her plea to guilty during a pre-preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Shortly before noon on September 2, Goddard, 29, was driving southbound on Highway 1 in Morro Bay when she collided with two men from Los Osos who were riding bicycles. Responders pronounced one of the bicyclists dead at the scene and transported the other to Stanford University Medical Center.

The bicyclist who died was 65-years-old, and the surviving man is 60-years-old.

Goddard is scheduled for sentencing on October 8. She faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.


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Wait a damn minute here!

This hell bound Sister of Eve only gets a fourteen year maximum sentence for KILLING a man and injuring another while under the influence, whereas, if she was cultivating 50 marijuana plants, and under Federal Law, she would get twenty years in prison with a maximum of a million dollar fine?!

What’ wrong with this picture?

Intent. It’s all about intent.

That’s is correct, and driving impaired implies intent.

A hypothetical, my “intent” was to grow for pleasure fifty marijuana plants because I can’t grow fifty Jim Beam bottles of whiskey.

I can have said bottles of whiskey in the back forty that will give myself and friends a good time, but not fifty Mary Jane plants because of the word “intent?” Huh?

First time agreeing with ted, it is about the intent to break the law. She did and she knew that she did.

Sorry to hear that a young woman is about to spend maybe half her adult life behind bars. BUT, I do not feel the least bit unhappy because this issue is on the front pages each week. Some people just can not figure out that if they drive drunk they are going to jail and give up their license and driving privileges for a long time…

And not many are arrested for smoking and driving, pot is a much more peaceful high…

Glad that she decided to take responsibility and plead guilty. Causing one mans death and the serious life changing injuries of another has got to be something that is very hard to live with. I hope this is a reminder to everyone who allows themselves to be distracted while driving or drives impaired (which can cause distractions and bad judgement) that your life and the lives of others can be seriously impacted in a heartbeat, it only takes one split second. Be vigilant when behind the wheel.

Cindy, any opinion on what Ms. Vellie should do regarding her DUI? You stated that this person took responsibility for her actions, which is good. I believe her BA was .07. Ms. Vellie had a BA of .06. What do you think Ms. Vellie should do?

Did Miss Velie injure or kill anyone? What is your point?

My point is that she was apprehended before possibly doing the same thing as Ms. Goddard, not because she is connected with CCN.

Should someone have to kill or injure someone before they are arrested for DUI?

Da! Don’t you get it?

Karen didn’t harm anyone Mr Holly and she was driving below the legal limit. If she had harmed someone, she would probably be facing man slaughter but she didn’t harm anyone. My point is that people’s lives can change in a heart beat. Yes, that fast, just a heart beat and people are dead in the road, while the responsible party will have to live with overwhelming guilt for the remainder of their life and they will face a long stint in prison. I don’t think people realize that if they’re distracted while driving and cause serious harm to another citizen, it doesn’t matter how much alcohol or medication they have in their system, they will be charged with man slaughter. This could possibly happen even if a person wasn’t at fault in an accident. It could be deemed 50/50 due to impairment and a persons ability to have avoided someone else’s error could be called into question had they not been “slightly impaired”. It’s not worth drinking and driving. I don’t think anyone should drink and drive beyond perhaps one glass of wine with a long dinner. Personally, I don’t even do that, I just don’t drink and drive.

As for Karen, If I were Karen, I would fight the DUI and then learn my lesson about drinking and driving and thank my lucky stars that I learned the EASY WAY.

Of course not! A person should be arrested for DUI if pulled over and shown to be such. But, if I’m not mistaken Mr. Holly there are no laws in place to arrest and prosecute people for “possibilities” or “what might have been”, right? In a system that has all but forgotten that a person is innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proof lies with the accuser we really don’t need to add “just think what could have happened” to the equation. If we did? Well, some would never see the light of day…

There are though certain factors that come into play during sentencing called “mitigating” (favorable) factors and “aggravating” (unfavorable) factors that are used to increase or lessen a person’s sentence.

We aren’t too good doling out true, correct, unbiased and non-prejudicial justice as it is so lets not add the “what ifs” to the mix…

Cindy and jrstone are you saying that if Ms. Goddard had been stopped by a police officer prior to the accident that she should not have been arrested?

I hope not.

Mr Holly,

To answer your question, If Ms Goodard had been stopped before the accident, of course she should have been arrested, she was driving on a suspended license with a pending reckless and there was alcohol in her system.

However if she had been an average citizen with a .07% BAC and was driving according to the rules of the road then NO, she should not have been arrested. But she wasn’t an average driver, she was a dangerous driver as evidenced by her previous record and her being distracted long enough to drive up on the shoulder of the road.

You do realize that people are killed every day by drivers who are not impaired, in fact the majority of fatalities do not involve impaired drivers, accidents are caused by distracted drivers. People allow themselves to be distracted all the time and if anything most people with a few drinks in their system are extra careful when they drive because they’re RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS.

Is any drinking and driving a responsible act?

Nope! Not what I said or what I meant… An arrest is suppose to be based on probable cause, blowing a .08 (Cal. minimum?) is that probable cause,

after that it’s up to a court to establish guilt. A Police Officer’s discression

is used in those who blow less then the minimum.

Ifs and buts have no place in this discussion and I wonder if thete isn’t

some other agenda behind your posts?

Why bother having a .08 level if you can be arrested and prosecuted for being under the influence at .06, or even lower. Just call it what it is; a zero tolerance policy. .08 is irrelevant.

Most people don’t know this but in California, DUI is charged as two separate offenses. Vehicle code 23152(a) is charged when drivers present objective symptoms of intoxication (i.e. poor driving pattern, fail field coordination tests, etc.). With this section, it is irrelevant that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below 0.08%. However, the courts have established that a BAC of 0.05% or higher (and/or a combination of drug impairment) is enough to justify an arrest for this section. Anything below 0.05% BAC will have much higher scrutiny in court.

And of course we have vehicle code 23152(b) for 0.08% BAC or higher.

In conclusion, one can get charged for 23152(a) even if they don’t meet the elements of 23152(b).