75-Year-Old Hit-and-Run Driver Gets House Arrest

A Gilberstville woman was sentenced to seven years of court supervision for the 2011 hit-and-run death of Kristy Bender.

Patricia Maurer, 75, who was found guilty of the 2011 hit-and-run death of 26-year-old Kristy Bender in June, was sentenced to seven years of court supervision, according to the Philadephia Inquirer.

Judge Joseph A. Smyth sentenced Maurer to one year of house arrest, one of parole, and five years of non-reporting probation. She is also required to pay the cost of her four-day jury trial this past spring.

The Bender family requested that Maurer, of New Hanover Square Road, not get jail time. Smyth said that he thought not allowing her to drive a car was a "good, practical approach."

"We are satisfied," Bender's mother, Kathy, told The Inquirer.  "We never wanted to see her spend time in jail, given her age and medical condition."

Maurer was convicted June 8 on a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident causing death or injury.

The incident occurred in April of last year, when Maurer was driving along South Township Line Road in Upper Providence and struck Bender, who was walking home from work. Bender died from her injuries on the scene.

Maurer, who has cataracts but drove legally with corrective lenses, testified that she felt a bump, but did not see Bender.  When she saw her damaged car, she called a relative, who called police hours after the incident, according to the testimony.

Maurer apologized to the Benders, saying "I do understand how horrible this must be for them."

Read more by the Inquirer's Bonnie Cook here.

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Brittany Tressler September 21, 2012 at 04:02 PM
The accident was April of 2011; the conviction was June of 2012.
Mike September 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I do feel that this case demonstrates that drivers be retested every 2-3 years once they reach 70. The test could be specially designed and priced to reflect seniors needs and the circumstances they face at their age.
SF Parent September 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM
If a young person had committed this crime s/he would have gone to jail--it saddens me that just because this person is elderly her penalty is less serious. She should have to serve time-in jail. The Bender family if much more forgiving than I could ever be. My heart breaks for them.
John H September 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
People should absolutely be retested every five years, regardless of age. People's sight, health (both physically and mentally) change over time. Driving is a privilege based on capability. It's not a right. People should be able to prove they are still capable.
Kathy Bender September 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I am Kristy mother and we just really could see no purpose to be served by having this woman spend time in jail. I have begun a crusade to have people (of all ages) road tested more than just the ONE time when you initially get your driver's license. I see people of all ages EVERY day on the road doing everything BUT paying attention to their driving! I have already contacted a couple of politicians to help me with this, but to no avail. I think that they feel it would not only be an expensive venture but also may be afraid that they, themselves would not pass a road test if given one today. I will NOT give up on this and if it takes the rest of MY life, I will continue to pursue this and welcome any assistance that I can get. Thank you all for your sympathy and your support. This has been a VERY difficult 17 months and we are glad to have at least this part of it over with.


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