A semitrailer truck driver who was talking on a hands-free device when he collided with a motorcycle and killed a Millard teen was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail.
Michael A. Green, 48, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of motor vehicle homicide. He had faced up to a year in prison.
Madeline Fitzpatrick, 18, was riding on the motorcycle on Aug. 9 with driver Jason Matthews, 36. The collision occurred at 264th Street and West Center Road. Fitzpatrick was pronounced dead at the scene, and Matthews suffered serious injuries. Green was uninjured.
Green’s attorney, Clarence Mock, told Douglas County Judge John Huber that Green had no prior traffic infractions and expressed his remorse. Green did not speak to the judge.
Ryan Lindberg, a deputy county attorney, said that Green was using a Bluetooth hands-free wireless device to talk on the phone and that the collision was unintentional. There was no evidence that Green was texting or that the crash was the result of road rage, as some relatives and friends of Fitzpatrick wrote in their letters to the judge.
Fitzpatrick was entering her senior year at Millard North High School.
More than 20 people attended the hearing wanting “Justice for Maddy,” which was emblazoned on the front of their blue shirts. On the back was a Benjamin Franklin quote:
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
As Green was being led away in handcuffs, a woman screamed and cursed at him, angry about the sentence. A deputy warned the woman that she would be arrested if she yelled again, and she left the courthouse.
Taylor Bodnar, 19, a friend of Fitzpatrick’s, also wanted a longer sentence.
“He took someone’s daughter, he took someone’s life,” Bodnar said.