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Wisconsin woman sentenced in June 2013 DUI accident

Back on June 21, 2013, we reported on the tragic death of a dentist who was riding his bicycle on Highway G in the early morning hours of June 1, 2013 ("Wisconsin driver abandons car after bicycle accident, rider dies"). The woman arrested in this DUI accident claimed she thought she struck a deer. She contacted a friend who came to give her a ride home, leaving both her car and the victim behind.

The cyclist's GPS indicated that he stopped moving at approximately 5:24 a.m. that day. When he was found, he was dead, and his bicycle was mangled. The woman that hit him did not contact authorities until around 11 a.m., which was long after the crash occurred. Video footage from the tavern she left that night shows that she returned and had at least one beer after the accident.

The accused woman entered a plea of guilty to homicide through the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. The Wisconsin judge presiding over the case stressed the fact that the woman committed a homicide because she chose to drink and drive. He sentenced her to a prison term of five years, with an additional five years of supervision after she serves her prison sentence. The prosecution wanted her to serve more time, especially since she knew she had hit something but failed to investigate.

The surviving family will never know whether the victim could have survived his injuries if medical attention had been provided to him right away. Filing a wrongful death claim may never answer that question, but a successfully presented claim may provide the family with a monetary award for the damages sustained as a result the dentist's death. A successfully litigated claim may also provide the family with some sense of closure regarding his death in the preventable DUI accident.

Source: chippewa.com, "Holler gets five years prison for fatal crash", Rod Stetzer, April 10, 2014

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