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10 Feb 2009

Driver Pulls Plea in Livingston County Motorcycle Accident

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When Charles Carnigan of Redford Township was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle on westbound Grand River in Livingston County, the driver fled the scene of th accident.  Mr. Carnigan suffered very significant injuries, including the severing of his left leg.  The driver, Cheryl Ann Collon, panicked and drove away.  She immediately went home and called her mother and her insurance company.

Ms. Collon was charged with leaving the scene of a serious injury crash, a felony offense.  She entered a conditional plea based upon the likely sentence, but withdrew her plea recently when the judge indicated that she should spend 15 days in jail.  He also intended to sentence her to three years probation and community service working with amputees.

The victim’s wife told the court that the family did not want Ms. Collon imprisoned, but the courts weigh other factors in addition to the requests of a victim or family.  Clearly, the court felt that this offense should be punishable by a jail term, even if it was only fifteen days.  The matter will now be set for trial.

Leaving the scene of an injury accident is a felony offense.  Many drivers panic in such situations and drive away, only later to turn themselves into the police.  Even in that situation, the act of leaving the scene is a criminal offense.  It is always best to stop immediately and call for help, rather than leave.  Quite often, the punishment for leaving the scene is much worse than for causing the accident.  Additionally, it is important to stay with the injury victim until police and medical help arrive.

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