Woman Says She Took Ambien Before Striking, Killing Woman With SUV

DULUTH, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — A Wisconsin woman has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, telling a judge she was under the influence of a sleeping pill when she struck the victim in Duluth.

Theresa Katzmark, of Superior, entered the plea in St. Louis County court Monday in the April death of 62-year-old Donna Estem. The victim had stopped to see if Katzmark was OK after she crashed her SUV.

After Katzmark replied saying she was OK, Estem walked in front of the SUV. That’s when Katzmark put it in drive and pinned Estem against an electrical box. At least nine people observed the incident and said her SUV aggressively accelerated into Estem. Estem died from her injuries.

WDIO-TV says Katzmark told a judge she intended to put the vehicle in reverse to move it to a parking lot.

According to the criminal complaint, after the crash officers said Katzmark had slurred speech and that she had a very flat affect. She also showed numerous indicia of impairment in a field sobriety test.

She told the court she doesn’t remember much of the incident because she was under the influence of Ambien.

Sentencing is Aug. 10. If convicted, Katzmark faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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