10 Years and a Defective Ignition Switch Later, Saturn Ion Driver’s Homicide Conviction Overturned


Yep, it was that damn ignition switch all along.

Exactly ten years ago, Texas resident Candice Anderson pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide following a car crash that killed her 25-year-old passenger. Anderson was driving a Saturn Ion when she lost control and drove off a rural county road and crashed head-on into a tree. At the time, investigators determined that she was intoxicated by illegal drugs, and was subsequently blamed for the accident. Anderson was sentenced to five years’ probation.

However, in the wake of the GM ignition switch recall from last February, prosecutors who originally charged Anderson as well as the state trooper who conducted the crash investigation, have now admitted that she was not to blame for the accident. It was that damn, defective ignition switch all along. To make matters worse, Anderson has spent the last decade believing she was the one who killed her boyfriend. Her small town community thought of her as a murderer. Her lawyer even said "she was called a murderer to her face." Anderson was just 21 at the time of the accident and gave up on her goal of becoming a nurse. It’s not exactly easy to get into nursing school when you have a felony conviction.

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GM first settled with Anderson for $75,000 back in 2008, after a 2007 internal investigation revealed her car’s airbags failed due to a power loss. But that was before she pleaded guilty. That money covered her legal and health bills (she suffered a ruptured spleen and broken femur), as well as compensation to her boyfriend’s children from a previous relationship. Anderson is now due to receive a significantly larger payout.