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Renton woman in coma after bicycle hit by repeat DUI driver

Renton woman in coma after bicycle hit by repeat DUI driver

A 24-year-old Renton woman remains in a medically-induced coma four days after she was hit on her bicycle by a driver, who police say, was under the influence.

Taylor Goehring’s family said she has severe brain trauma, internal bleeding and several broken bones.

“I can't tell you enough how horrifying this is,” her mother, Sheree Warner, said. “I don’t know how to get through it.”

Goehring was riding her bicycle on Rainier Ave N Friday evening when police say a reckless driver struck her from behind.

Police arrested 44-year-old Vern Henderson. They say he was high on PCP and pain killers when he hit Goehring.

Arrest records show Henderson has a long criminal history. He’s been arrested more than 20 times.

Henderson has four DUI convictions, including two in the past 10 years.

A King County Prosecutor tells KOMO, Henderson is also awaiting trial for a fifth DUI arrest last December. It’s scheduled to go to trial in February.

Last week’s arrest could be his sixth DUI.

By Washington Law, a person’s fourth DUI conviction within 10 years should be a felony. But even if Henderson is convicted for the 2017 incident -- giving him three convictions within 10 years – the King County’s Prosecutor’s Office tells KOMO they still cannot charge him with Felony DUI for last week’s crash (even though it would mark his fourth within 10 years). That’s because, by law, a person has to be convicted of their third DUI before committing their fourth to be charged with Felony DUI, according to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor does plan to charge Henderson with Felony Vehicular Assault in the case.

“I never want him to be free again,” Warner said.

For her family, it’s a nightmare that won’t end, as they wait for Goehring to wake up. At this point, they don’t know if that will happen.

“All I can do is hope and be positive that she’s going to make it through,” Warner said.

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