LI Teen Involved in Fatal Crash Hospitalized



8:40 PM EDT, April 23, 2010



Kayla Gerdes missed her court appearance Friday due to a medical condition.

A source tells PIX 11 News the 18-year-old was being treated for withdrawal.

Gerdes admitted to police she was high on Oxycodone when she drove her boss' work van across Rebecca Twine's front lawn hitting and killing the 69-year-old who was cutting her grass.

"It was prescription drugs. It was a mistake," said Gerdes Wednesday as police lead her to arraignment court.

Gerdes' attorney isn't trying to hide that fact that the teen has a drug problem. He says she was actually on her way to family court at the time of crash in hopes of checking into a drug treatment program and her mother was waiting there.

"She said Mommy, this woman has died, how can I live with myself after that? I want to die," Tara Gerdes said in an interview with Inside Edition.

Gerdes started out as the passenger in van, but her attorney says she switched places with her boss who was taking her to court because he was to high to drive.

Gerdes attorney tells us he believes Steele's blood work will show he was high on Xanax.

Under New York State law a person can be charged with reckless endangerment if they knowingly allow a someone else who is intoxicated to drive. But even if Steele's is found to have been high at the time, police say it's unlikely he'll face charges, because it would difficult to prove he knew Gerdes was intoxicated.