A woman who police allege left the scene after the vehicle she was driving hit and seriously injured a cyclist in Keene in August was sentenced to six months in jail.
The driver, Elizabeth K. Hunt, 29, of San Leandro, Calif., and formerly of Swanzey, pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony, last week in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene.
The Aug. 23 crash on Park Avenue left Matthew Glasgow of Keene with a head laceration, two skull fractures, facial fractures and a subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding under the skull, according to an affidavit written by Keene police Officer Lesley C. Ainsworth.
Glasgow had been cycling home from the Keene Family YMCA, where he works as a housekeeper, shortly after midnight.
An ambulance took him to Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, before he was transferred to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. He previously told The Sentinel he spent a few days in the hospital, then continued physical therapy at home. He experienced significant shoulder pain and missed 31 days of work.
Reached Monday, Glasgow, 25, said he feels he has made a full recovery.
“The one lasting effect that’ll be there with me for a while would be the scar on my head,” he said. “But there will also be a lot of positive things.”
One of those, he said, is “hope in the kindness of others.”
After the crash, the YMCA launched a crowd-funding campaign to help him buy a car, raising more than $5,000. He bought a Honda Civic from Fenton Family Dealerships Oct. 4.
“People supported me without even knowing me,” Glasgow said Monday.
He said he also learned about his own capacity to forgive. On Wednesday, Glasgow attended Hunt’s sentencing hearing to read a statement. As he put it Monday, he was “trying to express that I had no anger or bitterness toward Ms. Hunt in this occurrence, and I hope that it won’t be a setback for her in that she’ll be able to move on from this.”
Both Hunt and Glasgow told police they had no memory of the crash. But investigators found sufficient circumstantial evidence that Hunt was driving the vehicle that hit Glasgow, according to Ainsworth’s affidavit.
At about 12:15 a.m. that day, a state trooper found Glasgow lying injured on the grass near the intersection of Park Avenue and Arch Street. His bicycle appeared damaged, and a police officer found plastic debris that looked like it came from a vehicle, Ainsworth wrote.
Shortly before 6 a.m., a Keene Sentinel employee reported that an unknown, damaged car was parked behind the newspaper’s building on West Street, according to the affidavit. The right front tire was “shredded,” the passenger-side mirror was hanging off the car, and the right front corner showed black skid marks, as if from a bike tire, Ainsworth wrote. The damage to the car was consistent with the damage to Glasgow’s bike.
Ainsworth learned from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car manager that Hunt had rented the car in Boston, she wrote, and police located Hunt at a relative’s residence in Keene.
Hunt told police she had smoked marijuana in Boston before driving to Keene, and that evening had three beers at a friend’s house near Park Avenue, left around midnight and parked somewhere in downtown Keene, though did not remember where, according to the affidavit.
Hunt said she didn’t remember hitting anyone or getting a flat tire. She attributed her faulty memory to a combination of poor sleep, prescription medication and the beer, Ainsworth wrote.
A Keene police detective who opened the rental car noticed a “strong marijuana smell,” according to the affidavit.
As part of Hunt’s plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of conduct after an accident, which alleged she left the scene of the crash without giving her information or reporting it to police.
She also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge for stealing $6.98 worth of merchandise from Cumberland Farms in Keene the night of the crash.
Because Hunt has been in jail since the day of the crash, she has about three-and-a-half months left to serve on her sentence.
Before the case was resolved, Glasgow said, a victim’s representative told him a typical punishment would be at least 12 months’ imprisonment. “I believed she really didn’t deserve that,” Glasgow said. “So we agreed on 6 months.”