TORRANCE (CBS/AP) — The woman suspected of driving under the influence when she hit a pedestrian and drove with the dying man on her hood for more than two miles has worked as a drug and alcohol counselor and was a former addict.

Sherri Wilkins, 51, allegedly struck 31-year-old Phillip Moreno as he was crossing the street late Saturday night in Torrance. Police say Wilkins, whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, drove with Moreno on the hood until fellow motorists persuaded her to stop.

Sgt. Robert Watt says the victim was knocked out of his shoes and shorts at the scene of the collision. He says Moreno said she panicked after the accident and kept driving.

Moreno died at a hospital.

Wilkins, who worked as a drug and alcohol counselor at Twin Town Treatment Center in Torrance for more than a year, is due in court Tuesday. Court records show Wilkins was previously charged in 2010 with DUI and leaving the scene of a crash, but those charges were dismissed.

David Lisonbee, CEO of Twin Town Treatment Center, said Wilkins is an outstanding counselor who showed no signs of relapse before the accident.

“Sometimes you pick up signs that somebody is headed toward relapse,” Lisonbee said. “We had none. This was an appalling tragedy.”

Twin Town Treatment Center says if they had been aware of of Wilkins’ prior DUI, she wouldn’t have been hired.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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