A 55-year-old Annapolis woman could spend five years behind bars for hitting two bicyclists in late June while she was driving under the influence of alcohol. She was convicted of DUI while transporting a minor as well as DUI and causing a life-threatening injury. She had been indicted on almost a dozen charges in all.
The accident occurred as the young Maryland couple was biking along the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail near the Naval Academy Bridge. According to a witness, the driver was weaving down a ramp leading off of Route 50, almost hit the guardrail more than once and ended up on the shoulder where the two were riding single file.
The driver reportedly hit the 23-year-old woman, who struck the car's windshield and then fell on the road, before hitting the 27-year-old man. The couple was transported to Baltimore's University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The young woman had life-threatening injuries. She suffered a crushed trachea, lacerated carotid artery and broken bones. Her boyfriend fared better. He was treated and released.
The driver, who had a 3-year-old child in the car, stopped after the accident. After an officer detected the odor of alcohol, she was given a field sobriety test. After doing poorly on that, she was taken to a police station. A test administered there showed her blood-alcohol content at 0.15, which is almost twice the legal limit. She is being held without bond while awaiting sentencing next month.
As in this accident, bicyclists often are seriously injured or even killed when struck by a vehicle. Those fortunate enough to survive their injuries can face a long road to recovery that can include steep medical and physical therapy bills. They may also face a significant amount of pain and suffering that can keep them from returning to work or doing the things they used to enjoy for an extended period.
Bicycle accident victims can and should hold anyone who is responsible for their injuries liable in civil court, regardless of the outcome of any criminal case. By doing so, they can help minimize the financial burden of the accident so that they can better focus on getting back to as normal a life as possible.
Source: Capital Gazette, "Annapolis woman convicted of drunken driving in crash that injured cyclists" Tim Pratt, Nov. 20, 2014