MOULTRIE, Ga. — A Florida woman has been indicted on nine counts in connection with an automobile accident that killed a child walking to the school bus and injured his brother.
Monica Mae Cutts, 26, of Tallahassee, is accused of texting while driving when her car struck 10-year-old Noah Palmer and his 6-year-old brother Dylan Wolfe on Oct. 25.
Palmer and Wolfe were crossing Thigpen Trail from their residence to their waiting school bus shortly before 7 a.m., the Georgia State Patrol reported. It was still dark but vision was not otherwise obscured, the GSP said. The bus was stopped with all of its safety devices working.
Cutts, in a 2008 Kia Sephia, failed to stop for the school bus, according to the GSP report at the time.
Palmer was recently presented a posthumous Medal for Bravery from the South Georgia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving because he yelled a warning to Wolfe and tried to push him out of the way of the car.
Wolfe suffered a broken jaw and stayed in the hospital until the next day, his mother said when the medal was presented March 8.
Palmer was taken by helicopter to a Macon hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
A Colquitt County grand jury released its indictments Tuesday.
Cutts was indicted on two counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, one count of meeting or overtaking a school bus, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of distracted driving, serious injury by vehicle and driving while license suspended.
As described in the indictment, homicide by vehicle means causing the death of a person, without malice aforethought, while breaking a traffic law. One count of homicide by vehicle against Cutts refers to the allegation she didn’t stop for the school bus. The other refers to an allegation of reckless driving. Both of those allegations are separate counts in the indictment, which allows for two charges of homicide by vehicle, even though only one person died.
The reckless driving count alleges Cutts was driving while physically fatigued and drowsy as well as while distracted by texting.
Similar to the situation described with the homicide by vehicle charge, Cutts faces two counts of reckless driving and distracted driving even though there was only one accident; one count of each refers to the death of Palmer, while the others refer to the injuries to Wolfe.
Cutts remains in the Colquitt County Jail on a $100,000 property bond.