Elderly woman charged with negligent homicide after accidentally hitting cyclist three times

Feb 15, 2022, 5:53 PM
(Stock photo)...
(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

ROY, Utah — A bizarre auto-bicycle crash last September leads to negligent homicide charges against an elderly Clinton woman.  Prosecutors say she struck a cyclist three times, although, she didn’t appear to know what she hit.

Charging documents state officers were called to an accident near Kent’s Market in Roy involving a car and a bicyclist.  When they arrived, they found the victim, later identified as Warren Watanabe, in severe pain with fresh blood on his face and having trouble breathing.

The driver, Gloria Palmer, 78, claimed she didn’t know she hit a person. She just assumed she was driving over something on the ground.  The documents state surveillance video shows Palmer hit Watanabe, then backed up to drive around what she thought was on the road.  As she drove forward, prosecutors say she drove over Watanabe again. Then a third time after she put the car in reverse. 

The third contact caused the most severe injuries, including multiple broken ribs, a damaged liver, damaged kidney and internal bleeding.

The charging documents state, “On September 25, 2021, the victim passed away due to the multiple injuries he sustained.”

Negligent homicide over an accidental crash?

If this was truly an accident, why is Palmer being charged with negligence?  Former prosecutor Kent Morgan, who is not connected to this case, says Palmer’s actions after the first crash may be the reason why she is being charged.

“Negligence, under the law, is when anybody is not being careful and something bad happens,” Morgan said.

If Palmer had immediately exited the car after the first crash to see what she hit, Morgan believes she wouldn’t have been charged with a Class A misdemeanor.  However, he believes her efforts to drive around Watanabe without verifying what happened may be the reason for the negligent homicide charge.

He said, “I don’t think the negligence is failing to keep a proper lookout.  I think the negligence is engaging in activity after accident happened.”

Morgan says the most severe punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is one year in jail. However, he doesn’t believe Palmer would get that sentence.  He says the letter of the law doesn’t allow elderly people to have leniency for their crimes, but juries and judges seem to hate sending elderly people to prison for long stretches of time.

“Are we harder on people who are younger?  Yes, we are,” Morgan said.  “Individuals who engage in activity when they’re in their early 20s are treated more harshly than people who are in their 40s or 50s.”

Watanabe’s obituary said he was born in Oregon, but graduated from Roy High School.  He was an “avid fisherman” who loved to spend time with his family and watch war and western movies.

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories


centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
3 days ago
An Iranian woman on top of a car bonnet sets her headscarf on fire in central Tehran during protest...
Jessie Yeung, Ramin Mostaghim, Jomana Karadsheh, Mostafa Salem and Jennifer Deaton

Iranian women burn their hijabs as hundreds protest death of Mahsa Amini

The death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested in Tehran by morality police has sparked an outpouring of anger over a range of issues.
4 days ago
pro life utah abortion...
Simone Seikaly

Pro-Life Utah responds to latest abortion questions in Utah

The Pro-Life Utah advocacy group said they stand behind Utah lawmakers who claim that most abortion services in Utah are currently outlawed.
9 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah lawmakers clarify position on abortion trigger law after sending cease and desists to abortion providers

The letter signed by 22 lawmakers argues that even though the trigger law is on hold, abortion is still illegal.
9 days ago
FILE - In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell glances at the camera during her hear...

Judge considers barring cameras from Idaho mom’s murder case

A judge might bar cameras from being in the courtroom stating that broad news coverage could make it hard to seat a jury.
9 days ago
"Photo: GraphicStock...
Curt Gresseth

Eagle Mountain accidentally pays cyber-hacker over $1 million

The city of Eagle Mountain was duped into paying a cyber-hacker more than $1 million. Posing as the vendor working for the city on an infrastructure project by hacking into an ongoing email thread, the swindler victimized Eagle Mountain.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Elderly woman charged with negligent homicide after accidentally hitting cyclist three times