Man Pleads Not Guilty to Fatal Drunk Driving Crash
Updated: Wednesday, April 24 2013, 07:51 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- The family of a bicyclist who was killed in an alleged drunk driving crash wants the accused driver to face harsher punishment.
Elissa Hatfield was killed in July, 2012, when she was struck by a car while riding her bicycle on Fisher Road, near Hilliard-Rome Road. She later died at a nearby hospital.
“She had just been to the gas station,“ Hatfield's mother, Lisa Lewis said. “She was always riding her bike, and rides on that road all of the time. “
Police believe Casey Hakes, the man accused of driving the car that killed Hatfield, had been drinking before the fatal crash. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of OVI in a Franklin County court on Wednesday.
Hatfield's family does not believe Hakes is facing an appropriately stern penalty for his alleged role in the death of their loved one.
“Justice is not being served, “Hatfield's sister, Sarah, said. “I mean, he murdered our sister.”
Hakes's attorney, Jon Saia, disagrees with the grieving family, saying the police report from the crash shows Hatfield failed to yield to oncoming traffic before she was fatally struck, and that she had marijuana in her system at the time of her death.
Hatfields's family members, however, believe prosecutors are allowing Hakes to get away with murder.
“It’s sad she was not even five seconds from her house and somebody can just take her life away," Sarah Hatfield said.
Hakes has requested that a jury hear arguments when his OVI case goes to trial.
Reporter: Maria Durant
Web Producer: Ken Hines