A West Columbia woman pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday in the 2017 DUI death of a motorcyclist in Lexington County, Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard announced Friday.
Catherine L. Crumley, 55, was sentenced to 21 years on a charge of felony DUI resulting in death by Circuit Court Judge DeAndrea G. Benjamin. Under state law, the offense is classified as a violent crime and a “no parole” offense, according to Hubbard.
The victim, Larry Edger Williams, 65, was killed when Crumley’s Suzuki SUV crossed the center line on Old Barnwell Road and struck his Harley Davidson motorcycle head on. Williams sustained severe injuries in the crash and died at the scene. The collision occurred at approximately 10:50 a.m. on April 16, 2017. In addition to striking Williams on his motorcycle, Crumley also struck a GMC SUV after she crossed the center line.
S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troopers at the scene noted Crumley showed signs of intoxication, including drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and constricted pupils. She was unable to correctly recite the alphabet, troopers added. Crumley admitted to taking several types of medications and was transported to the Lexington Medical Center.
A “Drug Recognition Expert” with the SCHP conducted an evaluation and determined Crumley appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants, according to testimony. A blood sample was obtained and toxicology results from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) determined that Crumley had the opioid hydrocodone in her system, as well as the benzodiazepine Klonopin.
Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Todd Wagoner prosecuted the case. Following sentencing, Wagoner stated, “This case is a tragic reminder of the dangers of prescription drug misuse. Crumley made a poor decision and it cost Larry Williams his life.”
Crumley originally pleaded guilty on Aug. 22, 2018, and had been detained at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a pre-sentencing report. During Friday’s sentencing hearing, numerous family members and friends of the victim filled the courtroom. Williams and his wife, Debbie, were married 46 years and had just celebrated their wedding anniversary one day prior to the fatal collision, she said.
Following the sentencing hearing, Debbie Williams expressed the need to hold offenders “accountable for crimes and the damage forever done to people’s lives.”
“I would like to thank Todd Wagoner and the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. We, the justice system, have won a great battle here today,” Williams told the court. “There are no words to express the amount of gratitude that we have for this day. We have all prayed for justice to be done.”
Crumley was scheduled to be transferred to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of her sentence, according to Hubbard.
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