Jackie Autry At Wheel Of Deadly Thanksgiving Accident

Police Won't Cite Autry Since She Was Not At Fault

PALM SPRINGS - Jackie Autry, widow of ``Singing Cowboy'' Gene Autry, was behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed a homeless man in Palm Springs on Thanksgiving night, police confirmed today.

The 69-year-old Palm Springs resident was driving on Sunrise Way, north of Ramon Road, when she struck 50-year-old Jesus Cardova Diaz just before 7 p.m. Thursday, according to Officer Rhonda Long of the Palm Springs Police Department.

Diaz was pronounced dead less than an hour later at Desert Regional Medical Center, according to the coroner's office.

Autry, who was unhurt, was not cited or arrested, police said previously.

Autry told a local newspaper she was coming home from Thanksgiving dinner with friends in La Quinta when a group of people crossed the street in front of her car.

She said she did not see Diaz, who was wearing black and straggling behind the others. He was thrown over the hood and into the windshield.

``I feel very badly ... This is horrible,'' Autry told the newspaper. ``There was no damage to the car but a broken windshield and a very sad heart.''

Autry was married to singer, actor and Angels baseball team owner Gene Autry for 17 years, until his death in 1998.

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