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85-year-old woman charged in hit-and-run accident

SILVER CITY – Police have arrested and charged an 85-year-old woman who suffers from macular degeneration with leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm and reckless driving after she allegedly ran over a Silver City orthopedic surgeon riding his bicycle.

Dorothy Spangler, 85, of Pinos Altos, was driving her 1997 Jeep SUV when she hit Brian Robinson on Pinos Altos Road on Saturday, according to a police report. She was booked into the Grant County Detention Center, with bail set at $6,000, according to the police, and bailed out the same day.

Robinson, 47, was taken to an El Paso hospital, where he remains in critical condition, according to the report. He is the son of 6th Judicial District Judge J.C. Robinson. Brian Robinson reportedly was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, but it shattered.

The accident occurred about 2 p.m. Saturday on Pinos Altos Road, also known as Highway 15. The Jeep was seen by two motorcyclists dragging a bicycle underneath the vehicle down the highway, and when they reached the crash scene they determined the Jeep had hit a bicyclist, according to the probable cause report.

The motorcyclists followed the Jeep and saw it pull over. When it started to pull away again, one of the motorcyclists pulled in front of the vehicle to keep it from leaving. According to the report, one of the motorcyclists drew a firearm and ordered Spangler back into her vehicle when she tried to get out, while the other motorcyclist removed the key from the Jeep’s ignition.

At that point, a police officer arrived on scene.

The Jeep had “heavy damage to the right-side windshield and top of the vehicle.”

Spangler told the officers she was returning from Silver City where she had been shopping when something struck her vehicle. She said she did not know what it was but got scared and continued on her way home.

Spangler said she was going to call Judge J.C. Robinson – the father of the bicyclist – when she got home and ask what to do, according to the report. Spangler said the judge is a friend of hers.

Spangler told police she finally stopped because of the motorcyclists following her. Spangler said she did not see anything but remembers her windshield shattering.

According to the report, Spangler said she suffers from macular degeneration, which makes it difficult to see at night, but added that she can see much better during the day.

Robinson founded the Grant County Orthopedic Associates in 1999, now known as Southwest Bone and Joint Institute.

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