An SUV driver has pleaded guilty and admitted to being under the influence of a prescription sleeping pill when she fatally struck a woman on foot at a Duluth intersection.
Theresa Katzmark, 49, of Superior, Wis., entered her plea Monday in St. Louis County District Court to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 62-year-old Donna R. Estrem of Duluth on April 4.
Answering questions from the prosecution in court, Katzmark acknowledged having taken Ambien some time before hitting Estrem and then losing control of her vehicle, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
Katzmark hit Estrem about 12:40 p.m. at London Road and 40th Avenue E. A witness reported seeing Katzmark speaking with Estrem before the crash while the SUV was stopped on the grass just outside the Ecumen Lakeshore senior living complex.
Estrem walked away, the witness said, and that’s when the SUV backed up, then lurched forward and slammed Estrem into an electrical box.
In a letter written to the court this week, Katzmark’s mother, Judith Stefans, said, “Theresa and our entire family are so sorry for this tragic accident.” She said her daughter works as a trauma nurse in the Duluth area.
Katzmark’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 10.