Note: This letter responds to statements made by a lawyer,, in a case in which lawyer Robert Wyatt is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter. Wyatt is due to have a preliminary hearing on the charges Sept. 8.
To the editor:
My name is Linda Phillips-Chrysler, daughter of Edward Phillips. I would like to comment on the statement that Mr. Gagen, counsel for Mr. Wyatt, made to the press.
Mr. Gagen informs us that on the evening of December 10th 2010, it was dark and rolling hills obscured visibility. My family and I have traveled up Pine Knoll to Entry 3 many times – there is no blind spot. On that evening my dad was wearing a light cream- colored raincoat and was clearly visible. To our understanding there were no obstruction of view (i.e. parked cars).
The article states that it was “an accident.”
Mr. Wyatt was driving with a blood alcohol level of .18. The limit is .08. Mr. Wyatt was two times beyond the legal limit. If you are sober, response time is 7/10th of a second; if you are a .08 your response time slows to 1 ½ second. Mr. Wyatt was .18. Mr. Wyatt was too drunk to respond — he didn’t see our Dad, he didn’t brake, but drove into him with his Bentley and then fled the scene, leaving our Father on the sidewalk, his body broken from the skull down, bleeding into the street.
Mr. Wyatt left the gates of Rossmoor. My sister and I believe that he left the scene because he was drunk, too drunk to demonstrate any human kindness to the suffering of our Father. We have been told that Mr. Wyatt returned to Rossmoor within 10 minutes – we believe he returned because he is a smart man and knew he was making more problems for himself.
What we do know is this: He wasn’t there when a neighbor, Toni Stevens, found our dad and went to get a blanket, nor when John the bus driver arrived, nor when the Emergency Response team arrived.
Mr. Wyatt has not been charged with leaving the scene because he returned within a 10-minute frame … his story has changed as to what he believed he hit.
This is not an accident; Mr. Wyatt was too intoxicated to see our Dad, too intoxicated to apply his brakes. If Mr. Wyatt weren’t behind the wheel drunk, our Dad would still be with us. He has no idea of what a precious man our Father was.