Fatal crash brings $20 ticket
Faith Mitzel, 92, had crossed the centerline on a North Dakota highway when her car hit two motorcycles.
By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune
Authorities have issued a $20 traffic ticket to a 92-year-old woman who drove across the centerline in northeastern North Dakota and hit two of four motorcycles heading the other way, killing a newlywed and injuring her husband and another motorcyclist.
"It was the charge that was fitting," said Highway Patrol Capt. Kyle Ternes of the May 19 crash. "We took our time ... and did a thorough investigation."
The ticket, for driving over the centerline near Fort Totten, was hand-delivered Monday by the Highway Patrol to Faith Mitzel, of Oberon, N.D., Ternes said.
He said there was no evidence that Mitzel was speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So, "absent negligence ... there was nothing of that nature that would make it appropriate for charges that are more serious," he said, adding that the Benson County attorney's office was involved and agreed with the decision.
Mitzel, who was unhurt, was returning home by herself after a visit to Spirit Lake Casino in Devils Lake, the Highway Patrol said.
Killed in the crash was Sheri Leidholt, 30, of Devils Lake, N.D. Her husband, James Leidholt, 37, who was driving the motorcycle they were on, was hospitalized and has since been discharged. They were married four days before the crash.
The other motorcyclist, Jason Hunter, 33, of Devils Lake, is now recovering at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn. According to his CaringBridge Web page, Hunter has had 10 surgeries, including a foot amputation.
Definition of Manslaughter - The unlawful killing of a human being without malice or premeditation, either express or implied.
I don't care how old the woman was, why is she exempt from a manslaughter/involuntary manslaughter charge?????
Am I missing something here? She crossed the centerline, killed one biker and cost another an amputated foot!
And her penalty is a $20 ticket for crossing the centerline - as if hitting/killling/maiming the bikers never even happened??