Raleigh woman pleads guilty to fatal hit-and-run, DWI
Posted September 27, 2017 11:57 a.m. EDT
Updated September 27, 2017 5:02 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A 25-year-old Raleigh woman who was charged with multiple felonies in the December death of a bicyclist pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Wake County courtroom.
Amy Ellen Franklin pleaded guilty to felony hit and run, felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired for hitting 56-year-old Bryan Scott Goforth on Dec. 14 on Western Boulevard. Investigators said Franklin fled after the crash, and Goforth was pronounced dead at the scene.
She was sentenced to 51 to 75 months in prison.
Franklin was arrested about an hour after the crash, when officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Cross Link and Hadley roads. She was initially charged with felony hit and run, felony death by motor vehicle and driving while intoxicated.
Police said Goforth was in the crosswalk at Western Boulevard and Hillsborough Street around 11:35 p.m. that night when Franklin, who had a green light, hit him.
Officers later found Franklin when she was trying to drive her disabled car near Rock Quarry Road. Police said Franklin admitted to drinking before driving, texting when she crashed and taking a Xanax pill.
In court, Franklin offered Goforth’s family an emotional apology.
"There are no words to express the regret and remorse that I feel every day," she said. "For the rest of my life, I will have to live with what I've done. If I knew I had hit someone I would have stopped and stayed by his side."
Franklin said she knew she had hit something, but did not know it was a person.
Tina Weinberger, Goforth's sister, said the loss was devastating to her family.
"His tragic death has impacted all of us," she said. "The memories of that late night call describing his death will stay with me forever."
Franklin's mother said her daughter had brain surgery three years ago and has struggled since.
"My actions resulted in the loss of a life and for the rest of my life I will have to live with what I have done," Franklin said. "I truly hope that today's outcome will bring peace to the hearts and souls of everyone involved."