Guilty plea in Wyoming cyclist death

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A Corunna woman has admitted she was texting and driving before hitting a Wyoming biker out for a charity ride in August 2020.

Melissa Miller appeared in court June 8 where she pled guilty to careless driving causing death under the Highway Traffic act in the death of Lori Neville.

Neville, a young mother and marketing manager at A Village Fireplace, was out for a ride on Petrolia Line near the Brigden Sideroad as part of a charity event raising money for childhood cancer research when she was struck by Miller in a 2015 Civic.

Justice Mark Poland heard that Miller was a home care nurse with about 100 clients on her roster. She had just returned from vacation, her lawyer Terry Brandon said and found the two nurses tasked with caring for her clients missed clients and she was left to listen to complaints.

Brandon – who stressed the information was for context – said on her way back to Corunna, she sent a brief text message manually.

“That’s all it took and the results are as you’ve heard, a terrible tragedy,” Brandon said.

Court heard there was no indication Miller was impaired, there were no signs of braking or speeding and the weather was dry and clear.

Poland accepted Miller’s guilty plea and the criminal charges laid in the crash were withdrawn.

Miller will return to court Sept. 27. Sentencing is expected in the fall, with Neville’s family planning to give victim impact statements. Poland expects to reserve his decision after the sentencing hearing.