Corvallis, Ore.– A Corvallis woman was arraigned in Benton County Circuit Court today. Donna Bolt is charged with criminal negligent homicide for a collision that killed a retired nurse. A judge entered a not guilty plea on Bolt’s behalf.
On January 8, Bolt was driving on Fern Road in Philomath, when she struck and killed a pedestrian, 89 year old Hannelore Zimmerman. Zimmerman was crossing the street to get the mail at the time. An accident reconstruction specialist hired by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office found the collision was avoidable. Bolt’s attorney says the crash was just a terrible accident.
“The weather conditions were slick and wet. The contrast was minimal at best and it’s just one of those horrible things that happened, but I don’t think it’s a crime,” said Bolt’s attorney.
Accident or not, longtime friend and coworker Christy Wright says Zimmerman was excited to be turning 90 and was looking forward to her birthday party. The two worked at Benton Hospice Service together.
“One of the things we say in hospice is that when a death is quick, it’s really easier on the patient and harder on the survivors, and I think that has been really true. It was hard to wrap our head around,” said Wright.
Even at 89, Wright says her friend was gone too soon.
“She wasn’t done with her life. She had things to do, people to see, places to go and I really do miss her,” Wright said.