God Did It: Indiana Woman Insists That God Told Her To Let Him Drive And Then Ran Over Motorcyclist

180px-Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detailarticle-2700967-1FDCEF1900000578-380_306x418Sometimes saying “God is my co-pilot” is more than an aspirational bumper sticker. Prionda Hill, 25, insists that she took it seriously when she said that God told her that he would drive her 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. Either God is another elderly driver past his prime or he wanted to do in Anthony Oliveri, 47, because he immediately ran the car off the road and slammed into Oliveri on his 2001 Harley-Davidson.

Hill ended up in the median next to a Rally’s burger restaurant after the accident around 9:45 pm on July 11. Police found her in the restaurant where she recounted the divine intervention. She said that she was just driving along when “out of nowhere God told her that He would take it from here and she let go of the wheel and let Him take it.”

article-2700967-1FDCEF1D00000578-277_634x414She almost killed Oliveri but at the last minute the car swerved away from his head and across his midsection. leaving him with broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and bleeding kidney. Hill passed an alcohol test but she was taking a prescription for the pain medication Vicodin.

She has been charged with failing to stop an accident, criminal recklessness and two counts of criminal mischief.

There is obviously a torts case to be made. I teach a case, Breunig v. American Family Insurance Co., 173 N.W.2d 619 (Wis. 1970), where the defendant was driving when she believed God took control of the car and when she saw a truck coming, “stepped on the gas to become airborne because she knew she could fly because Batman does it.” (This is by the way a clear indication of insanity since everyone knows Batman cannot fly). She was still found guilty of negligence because she had knowledge or forewarning of her mental delusions or disability. Courts will allow an insanity defense in such cases when they do not have notice or forewarning and the condition denies the person’s ability to exercise reasonable care or to act in an “ordinarily prudent manner.” In addition, the person must not have notice or forewarning that he may suddenly subject to such a type of insanity.

Of course, if he were to prevail on such a claim, it would likely be difficult to retain her license without a demonstration of medication or treatment to the satisfaction of the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Faith-based driving is still unrecognized around the country.

36 thoughts on “God Did It: Indiana Woman Insists That God Told Her To Let Him Drive And Then Ran Over Motorcyclist”

  1. Tough decisions coming for the motorcyclist plaintiff’s attorney.

    Should he just sue Ms. Hill and wait for her to bring God in on a cross-claim? Or should he just sue them both and let the jury apportion fault?

    Who is God’s corporate agent for service of process? If He cannot be served personally, will a simple prayer serve as sufficient publication or will an entire Rosary be necessary?

    Will God be represented by counsel? After all, He is an expert in summary judgment. But will it even get that far? Will God simply demur as he does whenever confronted with a worldly problem?

    What about deposing God? Will the fire marshal need to be on hand in case of a brush fire? Will the court reporter need special expertise in taking shorthand on stone tablets? Will God swear or affirm?

    It could be a tough case procedurally, but it should be easy on the merits. God is obviously a lousy driver.

    1. fiver – if one sues God, how does one serve notice of the suit. And who is doing the deposition.

  2. Now that SCOTUS recognizes religious freedom so judiciously, why can it not be an excuse for everything from parking tickets to war crimes?

  3. With all the ignition key recalls over at GM, you can speculate what their take is. The devil made me do it.
    By the way, did Prionda get any service recalls from GM yet?

  4. Paul,
    I know in Illinois drivers can get separate tickets for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

  5. It doesn’t seem like she had warning that God was taking the wheel, so there is that defense. However, is there actually a law about failing to avoid an accident?

  6. Actually faith based driving is the norm in CA, and many other states where having a drivers license is optional for illegals driving without licenses. They do not need insurance or registration since they stopped the practice of impounding the cars of those who have no license, insurance, or registration. They cannot arrest them and have no idea of who they issue a citation to since they are undocumented. So in effect, they never have to appear in court or pay any fine.

  7. This case and Breunig v. American Family Insurance Co., 173 N.W.2d 619 (Wis. 1970), which JT teaches, are great microcosms for The Relevant Macrocosm.

    Especially the limitation of the insanity defense to cases where there was no forewarning.

  8. In a thousand years, wars will be fought and entire cultures will have been founded based upon whatever this woman writes down today. People will come from throughout the world merely to sniff the wondrous exhaust pipe from her Pontiac. And, of course, people will have to pay for at least fourteen channels dedicated to her before they are allowed to get HBO.

    Or not. These things are usually pretty random.

  9. If God was a corporation, he/she could be ticketed like any other normal “person”.

  10. I believe that Ms. Hill actually had that other bumper sticker. You know, the one that reads, “If God if your co-pilot, the wrong person’s driving.”

  11. We should not have any person elected to the office of President who believes in God. Dog maybe.

  12. What ever happened to the “Good old Days”… when we used to lock up people who heard ‘Ghod’ talking to them??????

  13. Lamborghini, maybe. Porche possibly, Bugatti, hell yeah, but an 2006 pontiac grand prix? Why would god want to drive an 06 grand prix?

  14. I do happen to have a commercially-made, properly purchased Compact Disc recording of Twyla Paris, God is in Control.

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