Driver gets probation in death of family
March 10, 2009
MINDEN, Nev. ” A Gardnerville woman who admitted causing the deaths of a California family of four in a head-on collision because she improperly medicated her diabetes was sentenced Monday to probation.
“All I can say is you have no idea how sorry I am,” said Dawn Miley, 44. “If any family members were here, I would tell them how sorry I am.”
District Judge Michael Gibbons suspended a three-year sentence in Nevada State Prison and placed Miley on five years probation.
He ordered her to perform 500 hours of community service and pay $11,044 restitution to the victims’ survivors for funeral expenses as a result of the July 14, 2007, collision on Highway 395 south of Gardnerville.
Miley pleaded guilty in December to felony neglect of duty by self-medicating her diabetes without a doctor’s supervision.
As a result, she drove while her level of consciousness was altered by low blood sugar, causing her to lose control of her vehicle.
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Killed at the scene were Jerome Calevro, 58; his wife, Maria Amelia, 52; daughter Bernadette, 23, and son Jerome Daniel, 15. The Calevros were en route from their Torrance, Calif., home to a vacation at Lake Tahoe.
“You appear to be as remorseful as anyone I’ve ever seen. You have no criminal record,” Gibbons told Miley who cried during the sentencing. “You had no health insurance at the time, and were not under the direct care of a doctor.
“Unfortunately, no one is here to speak for the victims, they were all killed,” Gibbons said.
He ordered Miley to abstain from alcohol and continue medical treatment and mental health counseling.
He said she could not drive without permission of the court.
“I’m never going to see you again (in court). Unfortunately, you’re going to have to live with this the rest of your life. You have a special obligation to this family. You have your life to live, and you must contribute in your life something on their behalf,” Gibbons said.
Maria Calevro was an elementary school teacher and Jerome worked as a dietitian at a nursing home.
Their son was a high school student and their daughter recently graduated from college.
Miley served one day in custody after the accident; she has surrendered her driver’s license.
At her arraignment in December, Miley said she couldn’t remember what happened. She was hospitalized for three days.
Witnesses said on July 14, 2007, Miley was driving southbound on Highway 395 at a high speed, passing several vehicles before her 2002 Suzuki sport utility vehicle left the roadway surface along the right, overcorrected, and struck the Calevros’ pickup truck in the northbound lane near Leviathan Mine Road.
According to court documents, Miley caused a three-car collision in 2002 in California in which she and six other people were injured.
She told Gibbons she gave that information to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles when she obtained a Nevada license.
Her attorney, Derrick Lopez, said alcohol was not a factor, and Miley knew not to drink because of her diabetic condition.
“This situation is a tragedy all the way around,” Lopez said. “She had no intention to hurt anybody and thought she was OK to drive. She has lived with this tragedy on a daily basis. She knows she can’t take it back, can never repay the family. She knows she can’t fix it.
“This is very different from somebody who chooses to drink and drive. Alcohol was not a factor,” he said.
Lopez included a report to the judge from a doctor that outlined the lack of information for diabetics about driving in an impaired condition due to low blood sugar.
At her arraignment, Miley said she blamed her lowered blood sugar on an argument she had prior to the accident.
A tribute to the Calevros