4ddd2c195b62b.image_-244x300 (1)The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the woman who hit a cyclists on Swan in May 2011 was sentenced to five years probation.

Abigail A. Allin struck Samuel Abate while he was riding south on Swan Road near the Rillito River Path. She then fled the scene and was arrested after a car windshield repairman noticed the damage to her car and called the police.

Allin spent 15 months in jail and pleaded guilty to several charges in February.

Abate’s father, William sent an email the Tucson Velo last month requesting cyclists write the judge asking for jail time.


Check out the story from Star reporter Veronica Cruz who was at the sentencing.

I have a message into William Abate and will update the story when I speak to him.

Read all the coverage about the Crash and Sam’s recovery here.


17 thoughts on “Woman who hit cyclist and fled scene gets probation”
  1. Probation…probation. This story should be sent out to all cyclist blogs and websites. If our legal system chooses to spit on the collective face of Tucson’s bicycle riders, letting us all know that cars and their irresponsible, criminal drivers are far more important than our welfare and our very lives well, then we should shame them at the national level!
    THIS is why a lot of people are just too afraid to ride a bike…THIS!

  2. I’m glad she served a little time, but it should have been more. She could have killed him and wouldn’t have even blinked. People like her are part of the problem that we need to fix.

  3. A friend of ours was recently taken out by a car on Oracle and suffered a broken hip, ribs, punctured lung.  Someone hopefully is keeping track of all the cyclists being taken out by cars.  This is an issue for cyclists the world over.  Time for something to change.

  4. Seems to be some confusion about the sentencing of this case. As a witness in the courtroom, the judge sentenced her to one year in prison and 5 years probation. Her 15 months in county jail was accepted as time served for the one year prison sentence. Now she must serve 5 years of probation.

  5. @Peddler — what went on in court? It seems as though there was no explanation (or charges, for that matter) for what seems to be reckless driving?

  6. She pled guilty to the charges against her and was sentenced to 1 year in prison and 5 years probation, community service and mandatory group meetings. She had already served 15 months in county jail. Their was no charge of reckless driving, it did not qualify as reckless driving. Reckless driving would have been a lesser charge than the ones she pled guilty to. Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries is a very serious charge. The judge had many facts to weigh for his decision.

  7. @Peddler yes, i know/understand there were no other charges — my real question is why not? Yes, reckless driving is a very minor crime, but assault is not (“recklessly causing any physical injury to another person”), and using a car to carry out typically makes it aggravated assault, a very serious crime. 
    The simple, unsatisfying answer is the county attorney presumably didn’t think he had enough evidence to bring those charges (or just didn’t think they were worth bringing)… but like i say, unsatisfying.

  8. Does anyone know what charges, if any, she would have faced if she stayed at the scene?
    Any indication if maybe she was intoxicated and that is why she took off? It seems that any leaving the scene punishment should be harsher than that for hitting someone while intoxicated, otherwise there is no incentive to stay. It’s a win-win for leaving the scene. You may get away with it and if you get caught, it’s still less than what you would get if you stayed.

  9. chenley333 *if* a driver was found to be intoxicated, and as a result caused a collision w/serious injury, the likely charge would be aggravated assault. See for example this guy: http://azbikelaw.org/blog/another-hit-and-run-this-time-mesa/ he got 10 years in prison (for the aggravated assault; and no years added for the hit and run). 
    I am still puzzled about how prosecutors and judges (judges must approve these deals) consistently don’t apply the statutory penalties for hit and run. Despite it being a class 2 felony, on paper a least, they do some sort of legal fiction where the sentence is “suspended”. Arizona is supposedly a mandatory sentencing state, a class 2 felony has a mitigated minimum of 3 years prison; AND it statutorily must run consecutively with any other incarceration (e.g. tampering, neg hom, whatever). My conclusion — and i am by no means an “insider”, i’m just an outside observer — is that the legislature has been, several times, beefing up penalties for hit and run and for some reason the justice systrem isn’t meting out the penalties the legislature intended. Thus the incentive to hit and run by impaired drivers very much, regretably, still exists. Please see  http://azbikelaw.org/blog/hit-and-run-in-arizona/ where you can click on the statutes, including the latest beefing up, called Joey’s law which just kicked in later part of 2012 (which didn’t apply to Allin)

  10. I am very sorry to the family. This is a tragic incident , however I believe it’s ignorant and offensive to say something like “she wouldn’t have blinked.” I know the defendant personally and that little girl has gone through hell, and will continue to struggle with this her whole life. What she needs is a program and a support group, not more time in prison. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  11. @Anonymous  Are you implying she would have turned herself in?..After (wrong #1), fleeing the scene and (wrong #2) tampering with evidence?  Her behavior was callous and deliberate. A ‘program’ and support group is hardly a consequence for such an abuse of freedom. Or maybe a program of cycling and support group comprised of cyclists would be fitting.
    Cyclists are always on the vulnerable end of such ‘tragic incidents’ and are wondering more and more why the freedom of the perpetrators isn’t restricted to a greater degree.

  12. I completely understand your position. Most people are uninformed about the disease of addiction. The personality of an addict that has not gotten sober is unrecognizable to their true personality. I speak from experience. I am in no way excusing her behavior, I’m only saying that to treat her as someone with no feelings or remorse is wrong. She was acting in a position of complete fear , as addicts do every moment of their lives. I know that she has gotten sober since, and her true personality does not reflect or resemble the person driving that day. Whether she would have turned herself in, I don’t know. But a year and a half in jail was clearly enough for her to reflect , feel immense amounts of pain (which i guarantee you she did) and see the magnitude of her mistakes. This is only my opinion, and you are sincerely entitled to your own. But I believe it is out in the real world where she can make the most amends with her actions by staying sober and sharing her story to help others stay sober and possibly help to prevent this from happening again with someone else struggling with addiction.

  13. anonymous are
    you saying or implying that Allin was impaired at the time? That would
    mean that she beat an agg assault charge; a charge which carries
    *serious* *prison* (not county jail) time — to the tune of 10 years. 
    there was a wrong that preceded your wrong #1. We can call it wrong #0
    — Allin was doing some horrific driving. Nobody seems to know why. Was
    she impaired? Legally, of course, it would be difficult or impossible to
    prove impairment since she was only caught days later.
    all being said, I don’t think long(er) prison sentences are likely to
    do good for “society”; but i would like to see significant driver’s
    license suspensions. Hit-and-runners are supposed to get 5 years
    suspension. I’m actually not sure if somehow the deals that prosecutors
    cook up apply that or not; but the law is quite plain — a guilty on
    28-661 (one of the charges she plead guilty to) means MVD must revoke
    license for 5 years. please see http://azbikelaw.org/blog/hit-and-run-in-arizona/

  14. There is no way to know if she was impaired and I’m not implying that she was at the time. But it was said by her lawyer that she completed two treatment programs. So clearly it is something she struggled with. And like I said, I’m not trying to excuse this or aggravate anyone. I am a firm believer in justice, and i do believe our bikers should be protected and have their rights intact. but the decision has been made in this case and I’m only saying that she should be treated as a human being and not be slandered online, I don’t believe that is helpful to any one.

  15. Why is the sentencing so difficult for people to understand? It was a first time felony charge, she completed a 1″ thick folder of classes and courses while serving 15 months in jail. The SENTENCE WAS ONE YEAR IN JAIL and 5 years probation with community service. Gabrielle, the “irresponsible, criminal drivers” will always be somewhere behind the wheel. Tucson has thousands of automobile accidents every year, when bikes are mixed into this mess, cyclists will be hit, injured and killed. Why do you insist putting yourself in harms way. I rode my bike on east 22nd street one time, with cars flying by just a few feet from me. One little rock, one little pothole, one sneeze, one cough or a medical problem by a driver and you are DEAD. Yes, it is your right, but you can be very right and very dead. Why chance it? Not only that, but doing heavy exercising while breathing car exhaust is not healthy either.Bike thru residental areas and protect your health and your life. I rode for many years that way and was never hit by a car. People should be ” too afraid to ride a bike” on major streets.

  16. Peddler2 Who wants to go to jail for hitting ‘some biker’ who doesn’t have any business being out there anyway.  I suspect had the victim been a child who she left for dead in the street and tried to conceal the evidence for, the degree of her callousness would be more recognized by the driving public.
    The street is a public place and as long as it is being used responsibly for what it’s intended, what difference does it make how or who it is.
    I’m sure many who identify with the victim feel that 15 months in jail while maneuvering a plea deal is not sufficient consequence for the lack of humanity involved here.

  17. Peddler2 “Why is the sentencing so difficult for people to understand?”
    I think it difficult for people who aren’t familiar with how our
    justice system deals with negligent driving and car-criminals. That
    being said, your analysis that follows is ludicrous; Bicyclist traffic
    safety is a tiny part of a huge problem, and the problems are
    predominantly with drivers of motor vehicle.
    has ~ 100,000 reported MV Collisions per year, of that: there are a few
    thousand are MV-ped collisions and ~2,000 are MV-bicycle collisions.
    Regrettably ~ 20 to 25 cyclists are killed each year in traffic
    collisions, but that still pales in comparison to the many hundreds of
    motorists who are killed. http://azbikelaw.org/blog/adot-traffic-collision-database/

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