Take narcotic pain pills, get behind the wheel of your Hummer, and kill a bicyclist. Get 9 years probation.
That's how it turned out on August 27th, in Mike Wetherell's courtroom.
On October 19, 2007, oncology nurse Sarah Howard was riding her bicycle on a nice, wide road with striped bike lanes. She had stopped at an intersection, waiting for the light to turn green.
Alas, at the very same time, Erika Hanson was motoring down the very same road in her Hummer H3, with narcotics in her bloodstream. As she approached the intersection where Howard was stopped, her Hummer swerved into the bike lane and straddled the curb. She plowed into Howard from behind. The cyclist was probably already dead when she hit the pavement, over 100 feet away.
Am I missing any meaningful details?
Hanson's sentence: one year of "house arrest," nine years of probation, and loss of driving privileges for life.
Has justice been served?
Why do I feel a little less safe today than I did yesterday, as a transportation cyclist?
More details on the Statesman website HERE.
Previous "Bike Nazi" commentary HERE and HERE.