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Published: Wednesday, 2/24/2010

Motorist enters plea of not guilty in Sylvania teen's death

Cynthia A. Anderson, 66, in court with lawyer Sheldon Wittenberg, faces one count of aggravated vehicular homicide. Cynthia A. Anderson, 66, in court with lawyer Sheldon Wittenberg, faces one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Morgan Duris' parents sat quietly and left quickly after seeing the 66-year-old Toledo woman who is accused of hitting and killing their teenage daughter with her vehicle stand handcuffed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Cynthia A. Anderson of 915 Lincoln Ave. pleaded not guilty yesterday to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide. She could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if she's convicted.

Judge Frederick McDonald scheduled her trial for March 30.

As she was led from Judge McDonald's courtroom on her way to the Lucas County jail where she was to be photographed and fingerprinted, several family members attempted to disrupt media coverage by aggressively stepping in front of cameras.

Ms. Anderson made no comment while she was led away by sheriff's deputies.

Ms. Anderson, who was on her way to work at the time of the accident, is accused of striking the Northview High School freshman shortly after 7 a.m. Jan. 21. At the time, the 15-year-old was crossing Erie Street near Apple Meadow Drive in front of her house to board the bus for school.

The teenager died less than an hour later as a result of her injuries.

In reports released by the Sylvania Police Department, Ms. Anderson admitted she was trying to pass the oncoming school bus before she was obligated to stop for its flashing red lights.

She said in the statement she didn't see the teenager crossing the street in front of her.

According to records in Sylvania and Toledo municipal courts, Ms. Anderson has had at least four traffic violations in the past 15 years, including speeding, running a red light, and violating turning rules.

In addition, several nuisance violations have been filed against her.

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