Prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against a 61-year-old Claremont woman accused intentionally striking and killing a bicyclist with a station wagon over the weekend, as well as trying to run down four other people, authorities said.
Sandra Marie Wickstead faces one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder in connection with Saturday’s 11:35 a.m. collision in the 1900 block of Mills Avenue, near the 210 Freeway, according to police and prosecutors. She’s also accused of the special allegations that she used a dangerous weapon, a car, in the crimes, and that the attack was willful, deliberate and premeditated.
Leslie Pray of Claremont died after Wickstead crashed into her with a green 1996 Mercury Tracer station wagon, Claremont Police Department Lt. Eric Huizar said. The collision was believed to be intentional.
Four other people were also targeted in the automotive attack, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
“Wickstead is charged with trying to run over four people before fatally crashing against victim Leslie Ann Pray, 54, as she rode her bicycle,” the statement said.
Police and prosecutors have not disclosed a motive in the alleged attack.
Wickstead was scheduled to appear in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for an arraignment hearing Tuesday, but it was postponed until Wednesday, district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
Her bail has been increased from $2 million to $6.1 million, officials said. Wickstead was taken to a hospital with injuries following the crash and was being held in a jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles County booking records show.
If convicted as charged, Wickstead could face a sentence of life in state prison.
Loved ones gathered Monday to remember Pray at a candlelight vigil.
Partner Betsy Hipple said the she’s was still trying to come to grips with the sudden tragedy.
“Those of us closest to her have lost someone so dear to us and so special, and someone who just modeled being a really, really incredible human being,” she said.
Claremont police have reached out in search of any witnesses to the collision, as well as Wickstead’s behavior leading up to it. Anyone with information is asked to contact Claremont police 909-399-5411.