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Driver Who Injured Woman While Fleeing Police Gets Jail

July 30, 1987

A 25-year-old Canoga Park man who evaded a police pursuer and caused an accident that severely injured a woman was sentenced Wednesday in Van Nuys Superior Court to four months in jail and three years' probation.

Robert Christopher Neil, a carpet layer, pleaded guilty in May to evading an officer and felony drunk driving causing injury.

According to police, Neil ran a stop sign near Woodlake Avenue and Jonathan Street in Canoga Park Sept. 18 and failed to pull over after a patrolman pursued with red lights flashing. Officers said Neil raced through West Valley streets at speeds up to 70 m.p.h. and ran a red light at Fallbrook and Victory boulevards, crashing into a car driven by Linda Sodoma.

Sodoma, 30, an off-duty reserve police officer, suffered back and hip injuries and underwent two operations, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Lloyd M. Nash. She is still under medical treatment.

Blood taken from Neil showed an alcohol content of 0.25%. Under state law, a motorist with a blood alcohol content of 0.10% or higher is presumed to be drunk.

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