A Texas judge on Monday overturned the conviction of a woman who pleaded guilty to causing a crash that killed her fiancé and was later linked to a faulty switch in the General Motors Co. car she was driving, according to her lawyer. Candice Anderson had petitioned to vacate her conviction for criminally negligent homicide, according to her lawyer, Robert Hilliard.
Anderson was driving a 2004 Saturn Ion in East Texas with her fiancé, Gene Mikale Erickson, as a passenger when it veered off the road and hit a grove of trees in 2004. The car's air bags failed to deploy, and Erickson was killed. Local prosecutors concluded Anderson was to blame, and she agreed in 2007 to plea deal under which she served five years of community supervision and paid a $2,500 fine and restitution for Erickson's funeral costs, Hilliard said.
This year, GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles — including the 2004 Saturn Ion — over a problem with the ignition switch that could cause it to switch out of position and cut power to the air bags and brakes. Anderson's crash was later identified as one of 13 linked to the switch. GM submitted a letter in connection with Monday's hearing acknowledging the switch "may have caused or contributed to" the failure of the air bags to deploy.
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