H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Oct 8, 2013 8:45 PM by Victoria Johnson

Family members react to Jessica Goddard's sentence

The woman who hit two cyclists on Labor Day of this year, killing one and injuring the other, was sentenced today. Jessica Goddard, 29, got the maximum sentence of 11 years, 8 months in prison. Goddard was driving to work at 11:30 a.m. when she hit the two cyclists from behind. It happened on Highway 1, just south of Main Street in Morro Bay. Alan Stephens, 65, died at the scene. Bradley Cummins, 60, suffered major injuries. Both men are from Los Osos. Goddard pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing injury. "I lost my best friend, my confidant, my lover, my protector, my everything. My life feels out of control. I feel I am living someone else's nightmare. This cannot be my life," said Carol Ann Stephens, Alan's widow, as she addressed the San Luis Obispo courtroom on Tuesday. The crash was right before their 10 year wedding anniversary. Carol Ann became emotional in court and her friend, Pandora Nash-Karner, had to finish reading the statement. "We were so excited about our plans to celebrate it, but we never got too, we never will," said Nash-Karner. Judge John Trice said these are the worst kinds of sentencing hearings, and it never ceases to amaze him how senseless and irresponsible he says people can be. "It is almost like an airplane crash, the debris trail it leaves on the family and community. It is frustrating and sickening," said Trice. Alan rode more than 10,000 miles with Bradley Cummins last year. Bradley spent three weeks on life support and still hasn't returned home. His wife, Cindy, demanded full accountability in a statement read by a District Attorney's Office representative. "Trying to lessen the fault here is revolting. It violates us as a community and society. It violates our humanity. It violates Brad again," read Kelly Sexton. Goddard also spoke in court today. "I know I've ripped apart two beautiful families," she said and apologized. Carol Ann said she wants to send a message to the community to be thoughtful and responsible when getting behind the wheel. Bradley Cummins is still painfully recovering and is too afraid to ride his bike again out of fear. Avid cyclists, Alan and Brad, were planning to participate in the SLO GrandFondo, a long-distance cycling event and fundraiser this Saturday. Goddard has three prior convictions for reckless driving, hit and run and driving under the influence. Her license was expired on the day of the crash and she was not properly insured. While serving her time at the women's prison in Chowchilla, she will undergo alcohol counseling and must pay nearly $50,000 in restitution.

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