HOUSTON – A former Texas prosecutor has asked the state to pardon a woman who pleaded guilty in a 2004 car crash that killed her fiancé, saying she now believes the accident was caused by a faulty General Motors ignition switch.
Candice Anderson was driving a 2004 Saturn Ion in November 2004 when the car suddenly veered off a road and ran into a tree in Van Zandt County, southeast of Dallas. Her fiancé, Gene Mikale Erickson, who was 25, was killed. Anderson, then 21, was severely hurt.
Because there were no skid marks, authorities believed Anderson was at fault and charged her with negligent homicide.
Anderson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation and 260 hours of community service.
GM has said the faulty switches – which have resulted in 17.1 million vehicles being recalled – have caused 13 deaths.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said Wednesday the automaker is not confirming the identity of any of the accident victims out of respect for their privacy.
But Anderson’s attorney, Robert Hilliard, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May confirmed for Erickson’s mother that the crash was caused by a bad switch.
In a letter written this week to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Leslie Poynter Dixon, a former Van Zandt County district attorney, said she would have dismissed the case against Anderson if she had known about the crash’s true cause.
In a statement, Anderson said the conviction has cost her work and been difficult for her family.