Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bicyclist's Killer Finally Indicted

The killer of Michael Sonney, the bicyclist who was the victim of a hit and run killing on Snouffer Road in July, has finally been indicted. Here's the article from the Dispatch:
Suspect in fatal hit-skip has drunken-driving conviction
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:05 PM
By Lindsey Seavert

The suspect in a hit-skip crash that killed a bicycling commuter on the Northwest Side in July has a prior drunken-driving conviction.

A Franklin County grand jury this week issued a four-count indictment against Spencer Andrews, 25, in connection with the July 25 death of Michael T. Sonney, Common Pleas Court records show.

Andrews, of 6834 Maxwelton Court, is charged with two felony counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of felony hit-and-run and one count of drunken driving, a misdemeanor.

He is scheduled to appear in Common Pleas Court on Dec. 31. Calls to his home weren't returned tonight.

Andrews is accused of hitting Sonney, who was riding his bicycle home from work at 4 a.m. near Snouffer Road and Asheville Park Drive, then leaving. Investigators followed a mile-long trail of fluid from a leaky radiator until it led to a heavily-damage truck at Andrews' home.

Sonney's mother, Traci Sonney, told WBNS-TV (Channel 10) that Christmas will be five months to the day that her son was killed.

"I just miss Mike. … I just want him back, especially for Christmas," Sonney said. "What I hope about Spencer is that he is enough of a human being that he is sorry for what happened.

"I don't want revenge. I hope he cares. I have never met him or talked to him or his family," she said. "If he is any kind of a person, he is going to have to get up and look in the mirror every day and know he killed my son, and I hope that fact makes a difference in his life and makes changes in the way he does things."

In 2005, Andrews entered a guilty plea to drunken driving in Franklin County Municipal Court, computer records show. That case stemmed from a Sept. 22, 2005 arrest by Perry Township police after Andrews hit two mailboxes and drove onto a lawn on Clubview Boulevard before leaving the scene at about 3:40 a.m.

After officers caught him at a nearby pharmacy, Andrews' blood-alcohol level tested at .233 percent, nearly three times the 0.08 percent at which a person is considered to be driving drunk in Ohio, archives from ThisWeek newspapers show.
It's about time. Good to see those aggravated vehicular homicide charges as it was obviously the driver's fault.

But how disturbing is it that it took so long to figure this out? If we had a law like the fifth motorist's directive in the EU, we wouldn't have such a wait - the motorist would rightly be at fault in all pedestrian or bicyclist/motorist accidents from the start.

Still, it's nice that the law finally got one right.

People, not speed.

6 comments:

  1. I know Spencer and I also know that he does have a problem with drinking,this is a terrible time for all concerned.we cant bring back what is lost,but maybe Spencer can learn from this and move on and help others with his learnings.Like I said I know this guy,worked with him as well,Great Guy,Issues but still a Great Guy.My heart goes out to him and his family on all others.

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  2. Mike was one of my best friends and i miss him deeply. I understand that people make mistakes but to continue drinking and driving is wrong, and i know for a fact that spencer still does. Who is next? I would hate someone else to have to go through what i, mikes friends and family had to. To leave someone on the side of the road to die shows cowardice. Spencer may be a great guy but so was mike and his life was cut short but someone who decided to get behind the wheel and drive after drinking. We all have the choice to choose what we do and pay the price if it was the wrong one. Life is precious,dont waste it by making stupid choices it could be yours or someone elses life involved

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  3. It's refreshing that you use Michael's name and him being a biker as a secondary fact. It's often backward.

    Showing names of the dead and his killer personalize the whole thing and draw out the true emotions.

    I'm sure Spencer will suffer the emotional stress that comes with killing another human. Lets hope he has not been too desensitized by tv and movies.

    My heart goes out to Michaels family and also to the innocent members of Spencer's family.

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  4. Hello everyone, and thanks for posting on this sensitive subject.

    As a cycling advocate who frequently sees cars as "the enemy," I occasionally tend to get a very Us vs. Them point of view, and to dehumanize "Them." Greg, thanks for reminding us that Spencer is a person, too, with his own problems.

    Stacey, I think everyone agrees with you about drinking and driving, but to hear it from someone who knew Michael makes it all the more poignant. Thank you.

    Midnight Rider, too often you see articles in the paper in the very vein you mention: cyclist first (usually blaming the cyclist for not wearing a helmet, or whatever) and then maybe a name, later. I choose to humanize the victim, because I think that the more we get to know these victims, the more we feel the loss. And hopefully this will lead to more patience and careful operation on our roads by all involved.

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  5. I want to thank you guys for beings so understanding for someone you didnt even know. Mikes bike made him feel free, he told me this one night when i had to go pick him up off of a road in the middle of nowhere because he was driving a minivan an hit a sewer drain and busted a tire, we laughed about that for years.

    I do not want to see Spencer suffer, i just want him to understand the infinate hurt, longing, and sorrow he caused. But he still is doing the same thing he did before and its caused me great grief.

    I visit the site he was killed every couple of weeks, to stop and think or just drive by and salute him(it was a joke between us, because he used to want to be in the military).

    This Christmas day will be the 5 month anniversery for his death bittersweet but we all know he is with us. Its nice know his legacy lives on and that is the best condolence for me...to be remembered and that people still care

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  6. first of all i give all sympathy to the family i'd like to start with that.I happen to know spencer although i haven't known him that long.however i am a pretty good judge of character and he is a very bright young man. Now im not tryin to cut him down because i do believe that was an accident. It would be nice to see some remorse for what has happend. From what i have seen there hasnt been much and yes he does still do the same thing.this guy needs some type of help, some type of inpatient therapy after he is done with his sentence. Im sure the lose has been tragic as i could not even begin to image and i would like to give my deepest sympathy to the family and all involved. i think there is alot more than one victim here and i think everyone involved on both sides. spencer needs help and there is more than just an addiction to alcohol here this is something deeper than that i hope he uses the time away to THINK about his actions and to find help. -annonymous

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