An Orange County woman who struck and seriously injured an Indio Police Department motorcycle officer while under the influence of a mood-altering drug pleaded guilty to DUI charges Monday and was sentenced to eight years of probation.
Margaret Kendric, 55, of Orange, was arrested over the summer for the Oct. 9, 2016, crash that left Sgt. Jeff Merritt hospitalized with major injuries. About 3:30 p.m. that day, Kendric struck the officer’s motorcycle with her Nissan Murano at the intersection of Jackson Street and Odium Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol. Merritt was thrown from the bike, causing injuries that have left him in a wheelchair.
An arrest warrant declaration stated that Kendric “displayed objective signs and symptom(s) of drug impairment” and performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and a subsequent blood draw showed “the presence of amphetamines.”
Last week, on the two-year anniversary of the crash, Indio police said Merritt “has been through several surgeries, procedures and in extensive physical therapy since that day. His life, and his families’ lives have forever changed. Though he has made significant strides in his healing, he is still fighting an uphill battle.”