After 15 long months of legal proceedings, the drunk driver who ran over Metromint Cycling teammate MaryAnn Levenson was taken into custody to start his eight month jail term at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing on Friday, March 7th. MaryAnn was hit and nearly killed by Walter Sorensen on December 23, 2006. At the sentencing hearing, witnesses who were at the scene described the incident with much detail and emotion. Their powerful testimony was followed by a neighbor, MaryAnn?s coach, her teammate, MaryAnn?s husband and MaryAnn, who spoke directly at Mr. Sorensen describing her injuries and the effect he has had on her life, her family, her career and her passion ? riding her bike. MaryAnn concluded by telling Mr. Sorensen that he had taken her voice, he had taken her strength, but that he would not take her spirit. That is evident every day that MaryAnn gets back on her bike or fights for bicycle safety on the Menlo Park Bicycle Coalition. In addition to the eight month jail sentence, Mr. Sorensen was ordered to pay restitution to cover MaryAnn?s medical expenses, serve five years of probation during which time he cannot drive or drink alcohol, complete 300 hours of community service and pay $10,000 into a restitution fund for victims.
Additional details can be found at the following links:
The SF Examiner
Inside Bay Area / San Mateo Times
San Jose Mercury News
Tragically, it is with increased frequency that we learn about cyclists being hit and severely injured by drivers. The entire Metromint Cycling team extends its deepest sympathy, its thoughts and its prayers to the families, friends and community effected by the devastating deaths of Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson and the injury of Christopher Knapp, all of whom were struck by a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy while riding their bikes on Sunday, March 9.