Posted at: 02/21/2013 12:15 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 6:11 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
TROY - "Anything you want to say to Matthew's family? Were you taking medication that morning?"
37-year-old Becky Goodermote wouldn't answer our questions as she entered the courtroom Thursday, facing manslaughter, leaving the scene and DWAI charges in the crash that killed bicyclist Matthew Ratelle.
Her attorney told NewsChannel 13 it was an accident, not a crime.
"She did not see him before she hit him, she didn't see him after she hit him. And because of that she thought she hit a deer or a sign. She wasn't certain. so she left," said Michael Jurena, defense attorney.
Prosecutors said Goodermote was impaired by prescription drugs and using her cell phone when her car slammed into Ratelle around 8:30am on Labor Day. The Petersburgh father was thrown about 150 feet off Route 22 in Hoosick.
"A husband, a father, a father who didn't know and never would know that his unborn child was on the way. We're looking to hold her responsible," said Richard McNally, Rensselaer County District Attorney.
Ratelle's pregnant widow was in court to watch Goodermote's arraignment, but declined to speak on camera.
Jurena said Goodermote only took prescription drugs for a migraine after the crash, and also denied that she was on her phone.
"It could well be that she had been dosing off. Happens quite frequently .There was a report from the CDC not too long ago about drousy drivers. She didn't see him. It happens to all of us. We're driving along and we don't know what's going on and suddenly, hey wait what happened?" said Jurena.
"We believe that she was on the phone we have proof to that effect that was presented to the grand jury and will be presented to trial jury and we believe that is compelling," McNally said.
Goodermote was released on bail.
She faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted.