Woman accused of hitting cyclists found competent to stand trial

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SAN DIEGO -- A woman who was allegedly on drugs when she drove the wrong way on Fiesta Island and crashed into a group of cyclists, critically injuring one rider, has been found competent to stand trial.

Theresa Owens faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine.

In December, Owens was found mentally competent to stand trial. But a second doctor expressed the opinion that the defendant was incompetent and couldn’t assist her attorney.

Owens allegedly drove the wrong way on a one-way road about 6:30 p.m. last 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, Juan Carlos Vinolo, was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

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