DA: Driver in Fatal Crash Had Dog's Xanax in System

Shantel Lynn Witt, 42, charged with manslaughter in cyclist's death
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2019 6:53 PM CST
DA: Driver in Fatal Crash Had Dog's Xanax in System
Shantel Witt   (Booking photo)

Marika Stone was cycling with two friends on the afternoon of Dec. 30, 2017, when the Bend, Ore., dentist was struck and instantly killed by a GMC Sierra that crossed the center line as it drove toward the group. Now, the trial has begun for the driver, who is charged with manslaughter in the 38-year-old's death—and in court records filed this week, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office says Shantel Lynn Witt had at least 11 medications in her system at the time of the crash, and that one of those medications was Xanax that had been prescribed to her dog, Oregon Live reports. Prosecutors say that in addition to a pill bottle with the dog's name, Lola, on it, three empty beer cans, a handgun, and a Taco Bell receipt from the day of the crash were found in Witt's truck.

Per court records, the dog had been prescribed the anxiety and panic disorder medication two days prior to the crash, and 11 of the 20 pills were missing. Other medications found in Witt's system at the time of the crash included another anti-anxiety drug, an anti-depressant, and multiple muscle relaxers. On Tuesday, the first day of Witt's trial, witnesses who encountered Witt immediately after the crash testified that she seemed drunk at the time, the Bend Bulletin reports. The two cyclists who were with Stone at the time testified that they were able to swerve and miss Witt's truck by just inches, and that despite the fact that Witt was allegedly completely in their lane at the time of the collision, she was angry upon exiting her vehicle and accused them of encroaching on her lane. (Truck plows into Honolulu intersection, killing cyclist and pedestrians.)

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