Woman Didn't Realize She Struck Bicyclist: Defense

College student struck and killed in 2010

By Darcy Spencer
|  Wednesday, May 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:43 PM EDT
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The trial begins for Christy Littleford, the driver who hit bicyclist Natasha Pettigrew in 2010. Darcy Spencer reports.

Darcy Spencer

The trial begins for Christy Littleford, the driver who hit bicyclist Natasha Pettigrew in 2010. Darcy Spencer reports.

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A woman who struck-and-killed a bicyclist in Prince George’s County is on trial for hit-and-run, and her defense is explaining why she didn’t stay at the scene.

Natasha Pettigrew was struck and killed on Route 202 in Largo, Md., in the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2010. The 30-year-old college student was training for a triathlon.

Christy Littleford, 43, was charged with felony hit-and-run.

Joseph Vallario, Littleford’s lawyer, said she did stop – twice – but continued home thinking she had struck a deer. At home, her husband discovered Pettigrew’s bike lodged in the undercarriage of Littleford’s Cadillac Escalade.

The couple drove back to the scene in a different car to find out what happened, Vallario. From there they went to the hospital where Pettigrew was being treated, then to a police station to report the incident.

Two witnesses testified that they saw Pettigrew's body in the road and stopped. One witness said she saw the striking vehicle being driven away from the scene with sparks flying from underneath.

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