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Reckless Driver Sentenced To Jail Term

Baltimore-Washington Parkway

National Park News

Early on the morning of Saturday, October 6, 2007, Alesha Webster was traveling north on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at approximately 80 to 100 mph, passing vehicles from the left to right lanes, striking the shoulder curbs, and passing vehicles on both shoulders. She subsequently struck the rear of a Mazda operated by a 78-year-old woman. The force of the collision forced the woman’s vehicle off the parkway into the woods, causing the Mazda's driver’s seat to break backwards and propelling her out of her shoes and seatbelt into the rear seat, where she landed upside down. She suffered severe brain injury trauma in the accident and is now in a vegetative state with 24-hour care.  Webster admitted that she was reaching for items at her feet and that each time she reached down she depressed the accelerator and had her head down below the dashboard. She also admitted that on one occasion she almost struck a vehicle. While reaching down on another occasion, she hit the Mazda and the airbag deployed, but she continued driving about a quarter mile past the scene of the collision. Several other drivers witnessed the above events, with some stopping to help the driver of the Mazda. On Tuesday, August 5th, Webster was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to six out of ten charges against her. She was found guilty of failing to control vehicle speed on a highway to avoid collision and reckless driving. The four remaining charges were merged with the reckless driving charge. Webster was sentenced to six months incarceration, five years probation (during which she must submit to counseling), and five years forfeiture of driving privileges. Park Police Detectives Michael Horman and Michelle Ludwick are credited with providing the thorough investigation that led to Webster’s conviction.



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