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Probation for driver who killed Petaluma woman

A 74-year-old driver who struck and killed a Petaluma woman while she was sitting in a parking lot off Bohemian Highway was sentenced to three years of probation in an emotional hearing Wednesday.

Johnella Thomas of Marin City, who earlier pleaded no contest to a single count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, also had her driver's license revoked for the three-year term and was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Thomas was behind the wheel of her 2010 Mercedes C300 on Feb. 24 when, according to law enforcement, she mistook the accelerator for the brake and sped off the highway north of Camp Meeker, crashing into a gazebo filled with people waiting to go on zipline tours through the redwoods.

Nola Wolf, 61, who was sitting hand-in-hand with her husband in the gazebo, was the only person hit by the car. She died at the scene, on the shared property of Sonoma Canopy Tours and the Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds.

On Wednesday, Thomas addressed Nola Wolf's husband of 40years for the first time since the accident.


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