Oak Park Woman Not Guilty in Fatal Crash in Berkley
Sarah Gaynor was high and legally insane at the time of the March 2011 fiery crash that killed a Detroit man 'just minding his own business.'
Sarah Gaynor, a 22-year-old Oak Park resident charged with second-degree murder in a fiery three-car collision in March 2011, was found not guilty by reason of insanity Friday.
The Detroit News reports that in a three-hour bench trial before Oakland County Circuit Judge James Alexander, assistant prosecutor Brett Chudler retold how Terrence Dyer, 42, of Detroit was "just minding his own business" when he was rear-ended by Gaynor's speeding vehicle at a red light at Greenfield and 12 Mile roads.
Dyer's car burst into flames and Gaynor's vehicle pushed it across the road and into the path of another vehicle stopped at the light in the opposite direction. A female in the third vehicle was injured.
According to The News report, a Berkley Public Safety Officer estimated that Gaynor, who has a history of mental illness, was driving at 106 mph when she sped by the officer on 12 Mile just seconds before the crash, Chudler said.
Medical experts for Gaynor and the prosecution who examined the woman or reviewed the case agreed she was legally insane at the time of the crash.
In June, Gaynor was ordered to undergo a mental competency and criminal responsibility forensic examination.
In a hearing in December, defense attorney Randy C. Rodnick told the court that Gaynor suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He argued that Gaynor, who has been hospitalized for mental illness, was hearing voices at the time and unable to afford the medication she needed.
Gaynor was charged with second-degree murder, reckless driving causing death and failure to stop. Under state law, those found not guilty by reason of insanity are taken into custody for additional mental exams for up to 60 days. Gaynor could be released or committed after that.