90-year-old man admits to vehicular manslaughter of doctor

A Chico man entered a plea of no contest Tuesday for vehicular manslaughter of a local doctor riding a bike.

Posted: Aug 10, 2021 2:57 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2021 3:06 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A Chico man admitted to vehicular manslaughter of a local doctor in court on Tuesday, according to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.

90-year-old Jim Voyles entered a plea of no contest on Tuesday, admitting he hit and killed a doctor in July 2018.

On July 28, 2018, Voyles was driving between 35 and 40 mph on Cohasset Rd. just north of Sigler Lane when Voyles approached the bike rider from behind and attempted to pass the rider on the left.

The rider, 75-year-old Dr. William Patrick Doherty, was hit but Voyles Ford F-250 when Voyles did not allow for enough space for Doherty.

Doherty was thrown from the bike and was alive when emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Doherty was transferred to Enloe Medical Center to receive treatment for spinal fractures, rib fractures, a pulmonary contusion and an arterial hematoma.

Doherty died from the injuries the following day.

During an investigation, the Attorney’s Office found this was not the first time Voyles caused a crash on Cohasset Rd.

In May 2015, Voyles attempted to pass a bicyclist and failed to leave enough space. The bicyclist hit the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.

Voyles faces one year in jail and will be sentenced on Nov. 2.

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We're closing out the month of November in a pleasant way in northern California Tuesday. We'll have some gusty wind tonight and early Wednesday, but December will begin with warmer and drier than average weather.
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