D.C. driver pleads guilty to fatally hitting pedestrian

WASHINGTON – A driver accused of pinning a pedestrian against a tree on a D.C. sidewalk has pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Maria N. Werts, 49, of D.C., also pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of driving under the influence in the fatal crash, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The plea deal calls for Werts to serve seven years in prison. A sentencing hearing is set for July 26, prosecutors said.

Werts is accused of striking pedestrian Emmajean Gainey, 58, twice on April 28, the second strike pinning her against a sidewalk tree. Gainey suffered blunt force trauma and died at the scene.

Werts admitted to police that she drank malt liquor and smoked crack cocaine prior to the crash. Witnesses identified Werts as the driver after she walked away from the crash scene at the corner of First Street SW and South Capitol Street.

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