The Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho reports that a woman who struck and killed a bicyclist with a Hummer H3 last fall will “never be allowed to drive in Idaho and will spend the next decade on probation.”
Erika Hanson will be sentenced in August for the Oct. 19 death of 48-year-old Sarah Howard, who was waiting at a red light in the bike lane when she was hit by large SUV from behind.
The crash galvanized local cyclists, who staged a bike ride last fall to memorialize Howard and to draw attention to their presence on the road. A makeshift memorial of flowers and a white bicycle chained to a pole at the intersection appeared days after the accident.
Prosecutors said that Hanson was “intoxicated on prescription drugs” when she killed Howard, and she was charged with vehicular manslaughter. Hanson entered an Alford plea, which allows defendants to acknowledge there is enough evidence to convict them without actually admitting guilt.
In a deal cut between prosecutors and the defense attorney, Hanson will be on probation for 10 years, and will serve 365 days of house arrest (with credit for time already served). She also will lose her Idaho driver’s license for life. Also, it will be virtually impossible for her to get a driver’s license in another state, since all states honor the driving provisions of other states, according to an Idaho Transportation Department spokesman.
Hanson’s defense attorney is expected to ask the judge to grant Hanson a withheld judgment, which means that if she successfully completes all terms of her probation, she can ask the judge to remove the guilty plea from her record. Prosecutors will ask the judge to deney the withheld judgment.
Has anyone ever heard of a local case of someone getting their drivers license suspended for life for vehicular manslaughter?