A Seattle woman, who fell asleep while she was participating in the Hoka Hey Challenge cross-country motorcycle race and hit two bicyclists, has entered a plea agreement which will cause her to be confined for up to 16 months.
Vik Livingston, 54, was riding in the 8,000 mile “Iditarod of Harley Davidson’s” when the motorcycle-bicycle accident happened near Nenana, Alaska.
Livingston had claimed that she swerved to avoid a braking car when she hit Andy Hutten and Karen Schaad who were riding bicycles on the shoulder of the road. However, the accident was consistent with a rider who had fallen asleep.
Hutten suffered a bad cut to his leg . Shaad’s injuries were much more serious and she suffered a chipped vertebrae and a cracked pelvis. Both bicyclists suffered bad road rash , a severe skin abrasion, because they slid approximately 30 feet on pavement.
Livingston was also seriously injured with cracked ribs, a punctured lung and a broken clavicle.
Livingston was originally charged with 2nd degree felony assault but the charges were reduced to 4th degree misdemeanor assault. It is unclear at this time whether Livingston will be sentenced to jail time or whether she will be electronically monitored at home in Seattle.
She was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims who have also filed charges in civil court for their damages.
The 2010 race was not without other accidents. Another rider died after falling asleep during the race and another died after losing control of his motorcycle and crashing.
The penalties seemed harsh to some who were writing in the blogosphere. However, falling asleep at the wheel is a negligent act because most drivers feel sleepy or drowsy before they fall asleep and have the opportunity to pull over, take a nap or drink coffee. There is a legal term, “Rebuttable presumption”, which means that the court will view the driver negligent without the driver having a chance to explain.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Charges set for motorcyclist who hit two people on bicycle