DALLAS, OR — Robert Morgan told investigators he was on the Whole30 diet plan and hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch on the day in 2017 that he fatally struck a woman in a Dallas, Oregon, grocery store parking lot, according to a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family. As a result, he was feeling “nauseous and lightheaded,” the $3.5 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of Susan Matthies states earlier this month states.
Matthies, 68, had just finished grocery shopping at a Safeway grocery store and was loading her purchases in her car when Morgan crashed into her vehicle and ran over her, according to the lawsuit.
She was rushed to a hospital in Salem, but died later that night.
The woman’s estate claims Matthies was negligent because he continued to drive even when he wasn’t feeling well, and that he should have known his health issues “would present a risk to people on the roadway.”
Morgan wasn’t criminally charged in the crash, The Oregonian reported. Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton told the newspaper that evidence collected at the scene indicated Morgan was dieting, but was neither intoxicated nor criminally negligent.
The Whole30 diet is rigid plan that cuts out real and artificial sugars, alcohol, grains, most legumes, dairy products, and junk and snack foods for 30 days to give the body time to heal, according to diet website.
“The fad of aggressive diets can be potentially dangerous to not just the person on the diet,” Brian Lathen, an attorney representing Matthies’ estate, told People. “The world lost a wonderful woman, in part, due to a diet. Please talk to a doctor before starting a diet.”
Whole30 cofounder Melissa Hartwig Urban told People those who use the diet plan aren’t told to skip meals.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the Matthies family,” Hartwig said in a statement. “Whole30 has always maintained the importance of eating whenever participants feel hungry, and to avoid skipping meals.”
Matthies and her husband of 48 years, Rodger Matthies, died four months apart, according to her obituary.
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