The family of a North County woman killed after being hit by a suspected drunk driver is upset with charges presented by the District Attorney that could potentially allow the suspect to go free on probation.
“I don’t understand how you can get a misdemeanor DUI for hitting and killing someone,” said Vicki Dyar, the mother of the victim.
Courtney Dyar, 27, was killed while walking on the shoulder of westbound State Route 78 at Emerald Drive at 5:45 a.m. on Nov. 7, according to CHP investigators. Dyar’s distraught family does not know why she was on foot on the freeway.
In court on Tuesday, Kanoelani Kirskey, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of hit and run with death or permanent serious injury, driving under the influence of alcohol, and driving while having a measurable blood alcohol level.
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Those charges carry a sentence range of probation to four years behind bars.
Kirskey had been free on $50,00 bail but was handcuffed in court and taken into custody after her bail was increased to $100,000.
Kirskey had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, an hour after she crashed her white Volkswagon sedan, according to prosecutors. They also say she had been smoking marijuana prior to the collision.
Kirskey left the scene, and then returned with her mother, prosecutors said. The pair then left the scene a second time and called 911.
“It’s really disappointing that they’re not charging this woman with vehicular manslaughter. She was drinking and driving and hit our daughter. Didn’t stop, just kept going. Left her there, left her there to die,” Vicki Dyar said.
The Dyar family is asking for potential eyewitnesses to come forward with information that could potentially lead to more severe charges.
“If there are new facts that come to light, potentially we may re-evaluate, but as the case stands, and as facts as we know now, we believe that the current charges are appropriate for the case,” Deputy District Attorney Min Yoon said.
“Our daughter was 27. She was beautiful. She was in college and our hearts are broken,” Vicki Dyar said.