Woman evades prison after fatal hit-and-run despite nearly 40 license suspensions

Susan Hyland
Susan Hyland

Credit: Pennsauken Police Department

Credit: Pennsauken Police Department

A family is outraged that a woman who has had her license suspended almost 40 times is back on the streets after being sentenced for killing their son in a violent hit-and-run.

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In March 2016, Susan Hyland struck and killed Qason Turner, 16, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, around 11:30 p.m. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene. Hyland never stopped driving.

Turner was leaving a friend’s house after finishing a shift at the Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Hyland, 41, was traveling at such speed that the accident "nearly decapitated" Turner, according to the Courier-Post. Hyland's niece, the owner of the vehicle, was in the passenger seat at the time of the accident. She called 911 after the pair arrived at their destination in Camden, New Jersey. Hyland talked about torching her car after the incident and attempted to flee the house when police arrived.

Now, a judge has sentenced Hyland to five years of probation, along with a prison sentence of 20 years, should she violate the conditions of her probation, which includes long-term rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment. In court, Hyland’s public defender testified that she had struggled with substance abuse her entire life, using crack cocaine every day for 13 years, as well as alcohol, marijuana, prescription pain medication and PCP.

"My client's addiction has caused most of her life to deteriorate and fall apart," he testified in court, according to the Courier-Post.

Hyland’s record shows drug and child support violations stretching back to 1997, and she lost parental rights to her children in previous arrests. She was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident in the second degree; causing death while driving with a suspended or revoked license in the third degree; and endangering an injured victim in the third degree.

Read more at the Courier-Post.