North Dakota 92-year-old receives $20 citation in crash that killed 1, injured 2
A 92-year-old woman whose car struck two motorcycles, killing a woman and seriously injuring two men in Benson County, has received a $20 citation for driving on the wrong side of the road and won't face other charges, North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Kyle Ternes said Tuesday.
"That was the violation that was committed, and that was the fitting charge," he said.
Ternes said the patrol's investigation of the May 19 crash found with certainty that Faith Mitzel's 2000 Oldsmobile crossed the centerline and hit the motorcycles. A news release from the patrol describes the crash as a "sideswipe meeting."
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Mitzel was headed south on state Highway 57, two miles north of Fort Totten, N.D., and the motorcyclists were going north.
According to the patrol, the Oldsmobile struck a 1980 Harley-Davidson driven by Jason Hunter, 33, then continued south and hit a 2006 Harley-Davidson, carrying driver James Leidholt, 37, and his passenger, Sheri
Leidholt, 30. Hunter and the Leidholts, who were traveling together, are from Devils Lake.
All four people involved in the crash were transported to Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake after the crash, and some were later taken to other hospitals.
Sheri Leidholt was transferred to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo. She was pronounced dead the morning of May 20.
Hunter was transferred to Trinity Hospital in Minot and later to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn. On Tuesday, a spokesman at St. Mary's said Hunter was in fair condition.
In an entry Hunter made Sunday on his CaringBridge site, he said his foot had been amputated. He also wrote that James Leidholt had undergone physical therapy and was out of the hospital.
Tuesday, a nursing supervisor at Innovis Hospital in Fargo, where James Leidholt had been transferred, said he was discharged more than a week ago.
Authorities said Mitzel, of Oberon, N.D., had no apparent injuries but was taken to Mercy Hospital. She was wearing a seat belt and her airbag deployed, according to the patrol.
Ternes said the patrol and the Benson County attorney's office decided together to cite Mitzel. A message left Tuesday for County Attorney Jim Wang went unreturned.
Also cited was James Leidholt for not having a license to drive a motorcycle.