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No-contest plea entered in crash


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POSTED: Sunday, May 17, 2009

HILO » A motorist who struck and killed an 88-year-old Big Island woman pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree negligent homicide.

Sixty-five-year-old Roger William Pyatt is scheduled to be sentenced July 12. The former Captain Cook resident faces a possible maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Pyatt says he was on Mamalahoa Highway on July 26, 2006, when he had to move to the right to avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle that had crossed the centerline.

His car left the road and struck Mildred Mitamura, who was gardening in her front yard.

Pyatt says he didn't see Mitamura because she was down on her hands and knees.

Prosecutors say Pyatt could not be charged with a felony because he claimed he was trying to avoid a collision.