Cayucos woman gets 140 months for manslaughter

October 9, 2013
Jessica Whitney Goddard

Jessica Whitney Goddard

A Cayucos woman who ran down two cyclists in September killing one and seriously injuring the other was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months in prison on Tuesday

Jessica Goddard, 29, had already had convictions for driving under the influence, reckless driving and hit-and-run when she plowed into the two Los Osos men.

After an evening of heavy drinking and cocaine use, Goddard left for work at about 11:30 a.m. She was driving southbound on Highway 1 near Main Street in Morro Bay when she allegedly veered right and struck the cyclists.

Alan Stephens, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene. His cycling companion, Bradley Cummins, 60, was transported to Stanford University Medical Center with fractures to a femur, a lower vertebra, his pelvis, his sternum and his left forearm.

Goddard pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and driving under the influence a week after the collision. Several family members of the victims asked San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge John Trice to sentence Goddard to the maximum sentence, which he did.

“It’s like an airplane crash,” Trice said noting her past convictions. “The debris trail it leaves in families and in the community it’s frustrating and sickening.”


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I have seen another Bike get run down in that same spot. In order for a bike to merge onto hwy 1 they have to cross over the lane where cars are merging to take off on Main. Dangerous area for bikes as it is. Bikes should never be allowed to join hwy 1 at that spot. On “Bike runs and races, they are always directed up Main, left on quintana. much safer way.

But with priors she was doomed anyway. What a waste of life to be SO high/drunk she was STILL high the next day. Now she lives with her choice for life, and her victims families are forever changed because of her “choice”. So sad for the families who had no say in her choices. 11 years hardly seems enough.

Absurd, she should do life.

She shouldn’t have a life.

Why are bicycles allowed on highways,people drive their car as if they are on a racetrack . Maybe if bicycles and foot traffic traveled toward traffic , bicycles ,people dont have rear view mirrors .This situation terrible for everyone involved

This attitude is all too common and all too wrong. Bicyclists are legitimate road users and are SAFEST when following the same rules of the road as other vehicles. (There is no perfectly safe way to use the road for anyone and cyclists are simply more likely to be hurt badly in case of an accident.) Many cyclists do use rear view mirrors and those that don’t can usually hear traffic coming up from behind if they aren’t stupid enough to be wearing headphones.

The behavior of careless, arrogant road users (on bikes or in cars) is what needs to be changed. Well-publicized, stiff sentences for incidents like this help. “Peer pressure” — speaking out against the selfish and thoughtless — would help more.

Multi-lane highways are multi-lane because of heavy traffic. Heavy traffic and bicycles are not safe why?, if you can’t think of a list of answers then start the list with your thought process.

The day will come when Caltrans can not run the risk of allowing pedestrians/bicycles on any highway, it has already been done on “Freeways” and next the Expressways after the lawyers pin the tail on negligence.

The “accident” did nor occur on a busy multi- lane highway. Its Hwy 1 with two lanes in each direction and at 11:30 at night is not at all busy. A number of years ago, the speed limit was lowered through that very corridor. Many, many bicyclists share that section of hwy 1 with cars without incident.

There’s a typo in the story above. The accident took place at 11:30 in the morning. Otherwise, I’m with you. To borrow an argument from the Second Amendment crowd, how about enforcing existing laws before drafting new ones to punish bicyclists? According to KSBY Goddard’s license was expired on the day of the crash. She shouldn’t have been driving at all, much less driving drunk.

OK, but at 11:30 am, it’s still not a busy highway; one that cannot easily accommodate bicyclists. Many bicyclists travel that route daily without incident.

I consider it otherwise safe, unless of course like in this case you are confronted with an impaired driver.

THIS IS NOT A BICYCLE ISSUE…it’s an impaired driver issue resulting in a murder.

Convictions as in more than one? maybe we need a three strikes law for driving privileges.

A California Driver’s License is Gold. Gold that is bartered with in the courtrooms across the state.

Most DUI convicts get their license back…Most Hit & Run driver’s get their license back. Most people who are convicted of Misd. and Felony pursuit get their licenses back. Even manslaughter convicts can get their license back.

Any defense attorney will fight for a provisional license under the GUISE of necessity to get to and from work so they can pay off their fines. That leaves a HUGE gray area when someone is stopped while operating under a provisional. They frequently tell the officer that they are on their way to of from work, but there are problems proving otherwise.

I certainly hope that this lady’s license was not valid when this occurred. If it was, I would have to say that the death of the poor bicyclist is in part, due to an indulgent court and shameless defense attorneys.

Someone in Sacramento needs to put some teeth in the revocation/suspension laws. Otherwise, the accident and injury numbers will continue….

I agree with you. But like many people who live in this state….we are finding out, laws don’t mean much anymore in California.

Excellent time to move East, because California will only get better with time.

Doesn’t seem long enough. Essentially, she committed murder by getting behind the wheel of that car while impaired. She had prior convictions for reckless driving, hit and run and DUI before she killed Mr. Stephens and critically injured Mr. Cummins.

Again, I’m reminded, that officer Oswald’s killer, who also had prior convictions.and who also was heavily impaired when she ran him down, was given life in prison.

Murder is murder, and she should have been charged accordingly.

Jessica Goddard, 29, had already had convictions for driving under the influence, reckless driving and hit-and-run when she plowed into the two Los Osos men.


Not conviction but convictions? And we gave her a license to drive? And a car?

So sad.

Well, her life will never be the same. I’m glad she did the right thing and plead guilty. It’s a shame and a total lose-lose situation. Hopefully, the family of the victims will find some peace.