Driver's vision impaired in Texas collision that injured Santa Rosa woman – Santa Rosa Press Democrat

A driver’s vision was impaired when he collided with three bicyclists, including a Santa Rosa woman, and left one of them dead on a Texas road in October, a crash report shows.
Michael Weaver, 66, told investigators he was blind in one eye and had limited vision in the other at the time of the Oct. 30 collision, which occurred about 70 miles north of Houston, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Authorities have recommended charges of criminal negligent homicide against Weaver, DPS Sgt. Erik Burse told The Press Democrat.
The Liberty County District Attorney in Texas will consider the recommendation and Burse said he didn’t have any other details, though he added Weaver wasn’t in custody.
Efforts to reach Weaver and the District Attorney’s Office were not successful.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Weaver faces up to two years in prison if he’s convicted.
It wasn’t clear if additional charges would be pursued for the surviving victims, including Santa Rosa resident Barbara Ferrell, 59, who recently returned home after spending weeks hospitalized in Texas.
A relative said she was unavailable for comment this week but confirmed she had returned to the North Bay after undergoing treatment in Texas for weeks.
Ferrell and her husband began their cross-country bike ride in September with family friend Glen Stanley. They were trying to ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida, by this month.
They encountered and rode with other bicyclists along the way, including Massachusetts couple Kent Wospeka, 51, and Elizabeth Anne O’Brien, 54.
On Oct. 30, they and a sixth bicyclist were together when the collision occurred on a road known as the Farm-to-Market 787, just 3 miles east of the town of Rye.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Weaver was heading east in a 2014 Ford Escape and “failed to control their speed.”
The crash report shows the road has a speed limit of 65 mph, but it didn’t specify how fast the suspect was going.
Officials say he struck Ferrell, Wospeka and O’Brien. A diagram included in the crash report shows the three bicyclists were near the right edge of the road and Wospeka, who was in the rear, was the first to be struck.
The other bicyclists, including Stanley and Ferrell’s husband, were either ahead or behind the trio.
Wospeka was airlifted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, where he was pronounced dead 1:20 p.m. Oct. 31, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Ferrell was airlifted to Kingwood Emergency Hospital in Houston and O’Brien was also flown to Beaumont.
Both had suffered major injuries and Ferrell’s included a broken back, five broken ribs, a broken arm, a facial fracture and a collapsed lung, her son previously told The Press Democrat.
Wospeka was a father of three and served as a trustee at Montserrat College of Arts, which is about 20 miles north of Boston.
You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at [email protected] On Twitter @colin_atagi.
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