Crime

Gig Harbor woman, 72, gets no jail time for causing deadly collision

A 72-year-old Gig Harbor woman who pleaded guilty to causing a crash that killed a motorcyclist last year was sentenced Thursday to six months probation and to forfeit her driver’s license, but she won’t spend time in jail.

Molly Burrell Lee’s standard sentencing range was 15 to 20 months in prison, but Pierce County deputy prosecutor Tim Jones and defense attorney Bryan Hershman recommended she be sentenced as a first-time offender and receive no jail time, court records show.

Superior Court Judge Garold Johnson went along.

Investigators said Lee was at the wheel of a car that drove into oncoming traffic May 25, 2013, and hit motorcyclist Alex Heinz, 69, of Tacoma. Heinz died.

Immediately after the crash, Lee did not seem to understand what had happened, court records show.

She wrote in her plea paperwork that she was “unconscious” at the time of the collision. Hershman has said his client had experienced health problems in the days leading up to the wreck.

She since has been involved in another car wreck and currently uses a wheelchair.

“The facts of the crash are consistent with her having a fainting spell,” Jones said outside court.

Lee wrote in court papers that she is sorry for what happened.

“I feel terrible that this happened and even worse that I am responsible for it,” she said.

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