PITTSBURGH — A man smoking a cigar laced with synthetic marijuana when he caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a University of Pittsburgh professor must spend five to 10 years in prison.

Fifty-year-old David Witherspoon was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in February to involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in the October 2015 crash that killed 34-year-old Susan Hicks.

Witherspoon and his attorney say he is remorseful and has suffered from mental health issues.

But Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini says Witherspoon faked a seizure at the scene then lied about the drugs he’d used that day.

Hicks was bicycling home from work at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies when Witherspoon’s vehicle slammed into a car stopped in traffic, which then pushed Hicks into another vehicle.

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