Thursday, February 5, 2015

Update on Pedals for Paws Bike/Car Accident.

Last year Carla McNally was struck by Julie Herbison while riding on the Pedals for Paws ride.  (Here is her note describing her injuries). Mark Hicks, Director for Bike Walk Tennessee has followed up with prosecution of the case.  He reports

Julie Herbison Charged with Failure to Yield to a Bicyclist - Carla McNally Case

Our letters and phone calls have been successful.  We educated both the District Attorney  General's office and the Sumner County Sheriff's Department that:

1.     the law 55-8-197 exists and has tough penalties for injuring a bicyclist or pedestrian 
2.     bicyclists have well organized advocacy groups who work with bicycle shops, bike clubs etc. who want the law enforced  

Per the DA –  “Failure to Yield to a Bicyclist” is a “Class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months

Herbison was also charged with a felony related to the DUI, but the DA’s office and Sheriff’s department are already were familiar with this law and file charges on a routine basis.  Now, I hope and expect the will they will charge motorists with Failure to Yield to a Bicyclist when the motorist is sober, but inattentive, for injuring a cyclist.

Mark M Hicks
Below is the email I received from DAG Whitley:

Mr. Hicks:

This is to advise you that the December term of the Sumner County Grand Jury indicted Julie Herbison in a 2-count indictment charging her with Vehicular Assault, a Class D Felony with a sentence range of 2-4 years, and Failure to Yield to a Bicyclist, a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months.  Her next court date is March 26, 2015, her settlement date, at which time she will either enter a plea or have the case set for trial, barring some valid reason to have a continuance.  

We will keep you posted on developments in this case.    Assistant District Attorney Sidney Preston of this office is prosecuting the case.

Ray Whitley
District Attorney General

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