Woman to serve 14 months to 5 years in prison for hitting bicyclist while driving drunk
The woman who pleaded guilty and no contest to charges she ran over a bicyclist while driving with a .27 blood alcohol level will serve between 14 months and five years in prison.
Kimberly Morse, 44, pleaded guilty to a charge of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and no contest to failing to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident in September. On Wednesday, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown sentenced her to between 14 months and five years in prison on both charges with the sentences to run concurrently.
In court on Wednesday, Morse apologized through tears before a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy led her to jail, where she will await her transfer to prison.
“I’m very remorseful for my actions and I didn’t take responsibility for a successful recovery at that time,” Morse said, alluding to her struggles with alcoholism.
Morse hit then-61-year-old William Pidgeon just before dusk on March 13 on Dixboro Road in Ann Arbor Township. An off-duty Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy found Pidgeon in a ditch on the side of the road where he was bleeding from his nose and around his ear. Pidgeon was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in critical condition but eventually recovered from his injuries, with attorneys in court Wednesday saying he was almost back to normal.
Morse was arrested when she crashed again at U.S. 23 and North Territorial Road. Her blood alcohol level was more than three times the .08 legal limit. She served 22 days in the Washtenaw County Jail before bonding out. She is receiving credit for those 22 days in her prison sentence.
Brown ruled during arguments Morse had used her vehicle as a weapon that night.
“When you’re driving as fast as this defendant was and as intoxicated as this woman was, a vehicle can certainly be a weapon,” he said.
Rick Convertino, Morse’s attorney, said she’s made great strides in her fight against alcoholism since the incident. During her statement to the court, Morse told Brown she realized she had not taken the recovery process seriously after her first alcohol-related conviction.
Information on that 2010 case was not immediately available Wednesday.
Brown was sympathetic but said Morse should have thought first before getting behind the wheel.
“You should have thought about those consequences before you went out and wrecked people’s lives,” he said, adding “people get mangled, if not killed, because people won’t control themselves.”
Morse will be forced to pay $910 in restitution to the sheriff’s office to compensate them for their investigation and an undetermined amount to Pidgeon in restitution. That amount will be determined within 90 days. She’s also responsible for $2,447 in fines and costs.
There is a civil case stemming from the incident that is still pending.