A Bear Valley Springs man charged in a car crash that killed a local mother, has been acquitted of manslaughter and reckless driving charges.
Bear Valley Police say it was diabetes, not drugs or alcohol, that caused Leonard Campos to crash a little more than two years ago.
Campos is a diabetic and prosecutors argued he could have done more to control his condition and prevent the crash in August 2009.
John Mikkelsen says living without his wife of 18 years, Peggy, hasn't been easy. "It's a lonely place, that's all I can say," explained Mikkelsen.
Peggy Mikkelsen was killed while gardening in her yard. "Her three kids don't have a mother. Her six grandchildren don't have a grandmother. It's all because he couldn't take the time to care how he treated himself," he continued.
Leonard Campos passed out behind the wheel of his truck and crashed into a pole. The trailer of the truck flipped and crushed Mikkelsen. Judge William Palmer found Campos not guilty Wednesday on all charges.
"It's a sad thing, but he didn't do anything criminally wrong," said Benjamin Greene, Campos' Attorney.
After the crash, Bear Valley Police said Campos' blood sugar was dangerously low and his teenage passenger had pleaded with him to stop driving.
"He had a choice and he ignored it," said Mikkelsen.
During closing arguments, prosecutors tried to show Campos wasn't treating his diabetes. Dr. Michael Garcia, who specializes in diabetes, was Campos' physician for almost two years. He testified Campos was a challenging patient.
"Many times he did not bring his glucose meter or his log book so I could evaluate them. Sometimes he would forget to take his insulin," explained Garcia.
But, the defense argued Campos, in fact, had a history of high blood sugar and the accident couldn't have been foreseen.
"He never had low blood sugar. So out of the blue he had one moment of low blood sugar and tragically this is what happened," noted Greene.
Last year in a jailhouse interview, Campos said he checks his blood sugar often. "Would I have done anything different? Probably not, because I didn't feel anything," said Campos in May 2010.
Greene told 17 News his client has learned a valuable lesson and is no longer driving. But, that is no comfort to the family and friends of Peggy Mikkelsen.
"She was just one of those bouncy, invigorating people that just swept you along and you got excited about things whether you thought you would or not. We miss her a lot," said Lynn Wolfe, Mikkelsen's friend.
Greene told 17 News his client's drivers license was suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, 14 months after the crash.