Woman accused of hitting cyclists gets 2nd mental evaluation

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Theresa Owens appears in court.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A mental competency trial was scheduled Wednesday for a woman who was allegedly on drugs when she drove into a group of cyclists on Fiesta Island, critically injuring one rider.

Theresa Owens, 49, is charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine.

A report issued in December found that Owens is mentally competent to stand trial, but a second doctor expressed the opinion that the defendant was incompetent because she couldn’t assist her attorney at trial.

Owens allegedly drove the wrong way on a one-way road about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, plowing into a group of 16-20 cyclists, hitting 10 of the riders head-on, according to Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto.

The defendant got out of her car and appeared to be under the influence of drugs, screaming and acting erratically, according to witnesses. She was taken to a hospital, where a baggie of methamphetamine was found in a body cavity, the prosecutor said.

One of the cyclists, 43-year-old Juan Carlos Vinolo, suffered permanent paralysis from the waist down.

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