A 91-year-old Villager who admitted to knocking down two bicyclists with her Mercedes and then leaving the scene was given a 5-year jail sentence on Tuesday.
Marilyn Hamilton, of the Village of Gilchrist, was arrested soon after Judge Don Briggs in Sumter County Court had delivered her sentence. On October 30, 2020, Hamilton was driving a white Mercedes when she hit Jessica Laube and Robert Hunter, two cyclists from the Village of Dunedin, as they were traveling along Morse Boulevard close to Bonita Boulevard.
The Florida Highway Patrol was informed by witnesses that Hamilton stopped her car, observed the couple lying face down in the road, then got back in and drove off. Later, while being repaired at the Mercedes dealership in Gainesville, the car was found.
Judge Briggs underlined that Hamilton’s largest legal issue, rather than the accident itself—was that she ran from the scene.
“The victims feel the effects of what you did, but what happened later affects you,” he continued. “Everything would have been very better for you if you had stayed. No sentence I could give would put Mr. Hunter and Ms. Laube back in the situation they were in before. This is a punishment.
Hamilton faces a total of 5 years of probation along with two concurrent 60-month terms for escaping the scene of an accident that resulted in serious harm to a sensitive road user. She also has to lose her driving license and pay restitution, the amount of which will be decided at a later hearing.