PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man smoking a cigar laced with synthetic marijuana when he caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a University of Pittsburgh professor must spend five to 10 years in prison.
Fifty-year-old David Witherspoon was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in February to involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in the October 2015 crash that killed 34-year-old Susan Hicks.
Witherspoon and his attorney say he is remorseful and has suffered from mental health issues.
But Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini says Witherspoon faked a seizure at the scene then lied about the drugs he’d used that day.
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Hicks was bicycling home from work at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies when Witherspoon’s vehicle slammed into a car stopped in traffic, which then pushed Hicks into another vehicle.