Serious charges filed as accident investigation is concluded

Many of our Ann Arbor readers are probably familiar with the August 7 car collision that claimed the life of a University of Michigan student. It was a tragic incident in which the young student was apparently crossing the street in a designated crosswalk when she was struck by a vehicle being driven by a 20-year-old woman. The student died two days later. An accident investigation of the collision recently concluded after about a month. As it turns out, the accident will be even more tragic - the driver is now facing some serious charges.

The 20-year-old driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death and manslaughter with a motor vehicle. Both of the charges are felonies. A third misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle without insurance has also been filed.

This incident has sparked some controversy over the use of crosswalks in the area, and a local ordinance is right in the middle of the discussions. Apparently there has been a rise in accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles in the last few years, which has many people looking for a change in enforcement of crosswalk ordinances.

Tragic accidents like this usually lead to extended debates on how to make traffic zones safer for pedestrians, as well as for bicyclists and perhaps even motorcyclists. There were no early indications as to whether or not the 20-year-old driver was negligent at the time of the accident, but the fact that criminal charges have been filed suggests that the prosecution believes they have some credible evidence of criminal behavior. Regardless, a college student dead and a 20-year-old facing felony charges and a possible prison sentence if convicted leaves everyone much worse off than they were on August 6.

Source: mlive.com, "Woman charged with felonies in death of U-M student Sharita Williams," Kyle Feldscher, Sept. 25, 2013

Categories: Articles

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