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Wisconsin woman sentenced for car accident that killed bicyclist

Readers of this blog may remember an article about a woman who was allegedly driving drunk when she struck and killed a man who was on an early-morning bicycle ride. ("Wisconsin woman pleads guilty to killing biker in car accident," Jan. 28). The woman was sentenced recently in a Wisconsin criminal court. The judge in the case said that what happened shouldn't be considered a car accident. Instead, she said, it was a foreseeable conclusion to choices that were made and constituted a homicide.

The trial centered on an event that happened last summer in Wisconsin. A 28-year-old woman had multiple drinks at an area bar and then chose to drive to her next destination. While doing so, she ran into a man on an early-morning bike ride. He did not survive.

After the collision, the woman reportedly did not tell anyone that it had happened. Instead, she called friends who returned her to the bar at which she had been drinking. Nine hours passed before her blood alcohol level was tested, and it still registered .123 at that time, according to reports.

The woman pleaded guilty to homicide while driving drunk. She was sentenced to five years, followed by five more years probation. The judge told her she should not call what happened an accident. She said the choice to drive drunk basically assured that a death would happen.

The woman cried as she told the court how sorry she was for her role in the fatal car accident. She said she feels constant remorse for what happened. The family of the man she killed, presumably, have strong emotions about what happened as well. They retain the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the now convicted woman. A successfully litigated claim cannot bring back their loved one, but it could help compensate for lost wages and pay any medical bills caused by this tragic event.

Source: Leader-Telegram, "Drunk driver who struck, killed bicylist in June sentenced to five years in prison", Chris Vetter, April 10, 2014

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