Driver With Dying Man On Windshield Says She Panicked

By Andrew Lopez
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 9:13 PM EDT
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Driver With Dying Man On Windshield Says She Panicked

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A drug and alcohol counselor who allegedly drove two miles through Los Angeles with a dying man on her windshield said in court Wednesday that she doesn’t remember hitting him.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins testified in her murder trial that the man she's accused of killing, 31-year-old Phillip Moreno, seemed to fly onto her car in the 2012 crash in Torrance, but the events were a surreal blur.

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"It was a flash, " Wilkins said. "I pretty much felt him landing on my window. To me, it felt like he came from the sky."

Wilkins is charged with one count each of murder, DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or higher blood-alcohol content causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident.

Authorities allege that she drove two miles with Moreno embedded in the windshield of her Mitsubishi Eclipse before another motorist directed her to pull over.

Wilkins, a former addict, wept and said she'd consumed three airplane-size bottles of vodka, a can of Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive. She said she had been "self-medicating" while waiting for knee-replacement surgery.

Moreno was struck so hard that he flipped onto Wilkins’ car and punched a hole through the windshield. Witnesses stopped Wilkins near Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street, police said. Moreno died at a hospital.

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Moreno's family said one of the witnesses reached into the vehicle and removed the keys from the ignition. His family described the witnesses as "angels" for attempting to help.

Wilkins said in court that she kept driving because she panicked.

"I was very scared," she said. "I kind of froze."

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Wilkins was charged in 2010 with DUI and leaving the scene of a crash that caused damage to either property or a vehicle, according to online court records. The charges were dismissed in 2011, records show.

She has two prior convictions for burglary, according to court records.

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The CEO of Twin Town Treatment Center, where Wilkins works, said she cleared a background check and received positive reviews from patients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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