Ohio woman tells the court she was praying to God as she drove.
Last August in Bellevue, Ohio, 50 year old grandmother Pamela Beckham was struck by a car while removing her grandchildren from her own vehicle in front of a library.
Witnesses said that 62 year old Marilyn Perry was driving erratically before her car struck Beckham, breaking her neck. Police suspected that Perry was under the influence of alcohol or distracted by her cell phone at the time of the accident.
But further investigation proved that Perry was neither under the influence nor using her cell phone at the time. Perry and her lawyer reported to the court that she was praying at the time of the incident, reports Fox 8 Cleveland.
Perry claims that she was in the midst of difficult times and was praying to God as she drove, occasionally putting her head down, which effectively took her eyes off the road. Her lawyer then requested that the court give her three years’ probation and admit her to an intervention program after “pleading guilty to a subsequent vehicular assault charge,” reports the Daily Mail.
This explanation was not offered at the scene of the accident. Beckham’s husband does not believe it is the truth, citing Perry’s failure to ever check on his wife’s well-being in the year following the accident. “Church-going people are better people than that,” he said.
Perry will have to pay the Beckham family $10,000 in restitution for hospital bills. Her probation officer will decide if she will ever be allowed to drive again.
Local authorities have made it clear that this is not a case against prayer, but instead a plea for drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times.