Cape Cod woman who struck and killed UMass student in 2014 crash pleads guilty, apologizes

A Cape Cod woman who struck and killed UMass student Hannah Frilot in a 2014 crash pleaded guilty to a charge of operating to endanger in Hampshire Superior Court Monday, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

Cynthia May, 65, of Orleans, was given four years of supervised probation on a plea deal with conditions including that she have no driver’s license until after December 31, 2017, and a driving curfew from 2018 to 2020, the DA’s office said.

During her hearing, she tearfully apologized to Frilot’s family and the court, according to MassLive.

“I do apologize. I’m so sorry for your loss,” she said.

Other conditions within the deal included performing 300 hours of community service with the UMass Amherst Police Department and making a $7,500 donation to be divided equally between UMass and Amherst police departments for pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist awareness and safety initiatives.


“Through this plea agreement, the parties have tried to achieve as much societal good as can be taken from this otherwise senseless tragedy,” First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said in a statement.

May was originally charged with negligent motor vehicle homicide in the July 31, 2014 crash. Police said she struck Frilot as she walked in the bicycle lane of North East Street in Amherst around 11 p.m.

Frilot’s family addressed the judge during Monday’s emotional plea hearing.

“When Cynthia May fell asleep at the wheel and killed my daughter, she didn’t just kill Hannah,” Michelle Frilot said, according to the Daily Collegian. “She killed my dreams, my family.”


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