ELK GROVE - The driver suspected of being on prescription drugs when he hit and killed a woman Wednesday in Fair Oaks has been booked into Sacramento County Jail.
Gary Wickey, 53, of Fair Oaks faces charges of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with injury, and misdemeanor unlawfully under the influence of a controlled substance.
Wickey allegedly hit and killed Julie Newton, 55, of Elk Grove.
Newton was walking with her father on Winding Way near Montcurve Boulevard when a car veered off the road and hit her.
Newton's family is grieving and struggling to understand why she was taken from them.
"I know the meaning of a broken heart now," husband Gordon Newton said.
Gordon and Julie had been married for nearly 17 years. The two were inseparable and traveled the world together.
"The love was still growing. It hadn't weakened any," Gordon added. "We had plans for January, plans for September."
Loved ones say Julie loved Disney. They say she was an upbeat and fun-loving person who got along with everyone. She worked at Trader Joe's in Elk Grove where she was loved by her coworkers and customers.
Julie was walking with her father, who has Alzheimer's disease, when the accident happened. She regularly visited him in Fair Oaks and took him out on walks.
"She really cared about my dad a lot," brother Jeff Snyder said. "It was a routine thing for her, the Wednesday visits."
Their dad wasn't hurt.
The car ended up going over the curb, down an embankment, and hit a tree.
CHP said Wickey was driving and under the influence of prescription drugs.
"I have a difficult time with that because when someone does that, it isn't an accident, because it can be avoided," Gordon said.
If given the chance, Gordon said he would like to ask Wickey why he chose to get behind the wheel that day.
All Gordon has now are memories of his wife and the comfort of knowing that their last moment together was one filled with love.
"I was leaving for work," Gordon recounted. "And we always made sure we kissed each other goodbye. And I said 'I love you.' As I walked out the door, I said 'see you when I get home.' I never got to see her again."
Wickey's bail is set at $250,000.
He declined News10's request for an interview Friday night.