A Dalton woman pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield in connection with a crash that killed a motorcyclist in December 2019 and was sentenced to probation, according to District Attorney Bert Poston.
Emma Hayde Medina-Gonzalez was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Scott Minter to 12 months probation, a $1,000 fine plus court costs and surcharges,100 hours of community service and probation fees, and she must complete a defensive driving course at her own expense.
The two-vehicle crash occurred at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fields Avenue on Dec. 26, 2019, shortly after 12:30 p.m. Rocky Face resident Ernest McBryar, 43, who was driving the motorcycle, died from the crash. He was a truck driver with Sierra Express and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his obituary.
The vehicle driven by Medina-Gonzalez, a Toyota Camry, was traveling east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward Fields Avenue, then attempted to make a left-hand turn to head north on Fields Avenue when it struck the motorcycle's front left side with its front, according to the Dalton Police Department. The motorcycle was traveling west through the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fields Avenue when it was struck.
A witness said McBryar had a green light and was not speeding.
"All indications are that Ms. Medina simply did not see him," Poston said. "There were no visibility issues that day though, and Mr. McBryar was not speeding."
McBryar was taken by air ambulance and passed away later that day at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.
Under Georgia law, second-degree vehicular homicide is a non-intentional death resulting from a traffic violation other than DUI, reckless driving, fleeing from police and a handful of other violations. It is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than a year in jail.