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Hit-and-run Driver trial delayed
Jury trial now set for September
Gary Driver pickup
Pictured is the Chevrolet Z71 pickup investigators say was involved in the hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of Mildred Herrin. The truck is pictured at the Sheriff’s Department impound lot.

A man accused of hitting and killing a woman with his Chevy pickup while she was working in her yard had his jury trial delayed about six months on Wednesday.

Gary Driver had been scheduled to stand trial beginning April 4, but his trial date has now been pushed back to Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

“The defense filed a motion to continue based on finding an expert for some of the evidence we have presented,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “It’s the first time this case has been continued. The court system was pretty much shut down for a year due to COVID.”

Driver is charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide while being intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

The incident took place in May 2000 while Mildred Herrin, 71, was working in her yard on Swan Mill Road in the Viola area. Law enforcement officials say Driver left the road and struck and killed Herrin, then fled the scene.

The red pickup he was reportedly driving was found hidden deep in a nursery field in Grundy County with front-end damage. Driver was picked up not far from where the truck was found.

Herrin was seen weed-eating on the night of her death around 5:15 p.m. by one of her sons who was driving past. When she couldn’t be reached later that night, family members became concerned and went to check on her. She was found about 15 feet off the road behind some flowers on a slight embankment.

Surveillance footage from a neighbor’s camera captured a red, extended cab pickup traveling on Swan Mill Road that night. 

There was also reportedly fluid leaking from the vehicle investigators were able to follow on the pavement to point them in the right direction.