Charges against driver accused of felony DUI upgraded after bicyclist dies from his injuries

VIDEO: Police: Bicyclist struck by drunk driver in downtown Charleston dies from his injuries

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The charges against the Mount Pleasant woman accused of striking a bicyclist earlier this month have been upgraded, Charleston Police say.

Gabriela Bennett, 23, now faces charges of felony DUI involving death and reckless vehicular homicide, according to Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis.

The upgraded charges followed the death Tuesday afternoon of 67-year-old Harry Gilbert of Charleston.

Police say Gilbert was the bicyclist who was struck by Bennett on May 12 at approximately 9:30 p.m. on King Street between Sheppard and Engel Streets.

Investigators initially arrested Bennett on the night of the collision and charged her with felony driving under the influence after police say she showed signs of impairment on a field sobriety test which was given to her during the investigation.

Investigators arrested 23-year-old Gabriela Bennett of Mount Pleasant on the night of the collision and charged her with felony driving under the influence after police say she showed signs of impairment on a field sobriety test which was given to her during the investigation.
Investigators arrested 23-year-old Gabriela Bennett of Mount Pleasant on the night of the collision and charged her with felony driving under the influence after police say she showed signs of impairment on a field sobriety test which was given to her during the investigation. (Source: Al Cannon Detention Center)

“Drivers are reminded to always pay attention while operating a motor vehicle for vulnerable roadway users and to share the roadway with all users,” Charleston police officials said."The bicyclist in this collision was traveling lawfully in the roadway when he was struck. This collision is another tragic example of a traffic fatality that could have and should have been prevented. There is no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel while impaired and to not pay attention for others sharing the roadway."

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