Driver Says She Thought She Hit Bike, Not Woman

Woman struck and killed while riding bike

A woman in her early 20s turned herself in to Richmond police  Monday night for her involvement in a hit-and-run accident that killed a 49-year-old woman riding her bicycle Saturday evening.

The woman, Tiffany Powell, turned herself in at a police station at about 10:30 p.m. Monday and was taken into custody on felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges, according to police Sgt. Louie Tirona.

Police said the woman said she turned herself in after recieving counseling from a pastor.

She told reporters from her jail cell that she thought she hit a bicycle and only learned there was a victim after watching reports on television. She said she did not see the victim, only a bike tire.

Police said it took a lot of courage to come forward.

Powell said she is bipolar and that she lost her license to drive because of outstanding tickets.

The arrest came after family members of the victim, Laura Casey, held a press conference earlier Monday pleading for witnesses or suspects to come forward, police Lt. Enos Johnson said.

Casey was riding her bicycle on Carlson Boulevard at Ohio Avenue at about 6 p.m. Saturday when a white four-door sedan struck her and knocked her off her bicycle, police said.

Police think Powell was driving the first car to hit Casey.

Witnesses said the driver paused momentarily before fleeing.

Casey was on the ground and calling for help when the second  vehicle struck and killed her, according to police, who said she was  pronounced dead at the scene.

Traffic investigators are still working on the case, according to Tirona, who said "we would obviously like for other motorist to come in and explain the situation."

Witnesses are urged to call the Richmond Police Department at (510)233-1214 or Officer Ramon Middleton at (510) 621-1583.

There is still a second driver that police are looking for.

The police department is also offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run drivers, Johnson said.

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