Denver man gets probation in hit-and-run accident on cyclist near Vail
EAGLE. Colo. (AP) – A Denver man has been sentenced to probation and community service for a hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a New York cyclist near Vail.
Martin Erzinger, 52, who has a second home in the Vail area, was also sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail, but Eagle County District Judge Frederick Gannett suspended the jail time.
Erzinger will lose his driver’s license for year. Denver’s KMGH-TV reported that the sentencing followed approval of a plea deal criticized as being too lenient.
Erzinger was charged with misdemeanors in the accident that injured Dr. Steven Milo of New York City in July. The 33-year-old Milo, still recovering from several injuries, asked the judge to reject the plea deal.
Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has said he offered the deal, rejecting pressing a felony charge, because Erzinger has no criminal record and is willing to pay a significant amount of restitution.
Milo’s attorney, Harold Haddon, said that Erzinger never took responsibility for what he did.
Erzinger, driving a 2010 Mercedes, hit Milo, who was riding on the shoulder, and then drove on, police said. Investigators said Erzinger told them he didn’t know he hit anyone.
Erzinger’s attorney said his client has a sleep disorder and dozed off.
Milo’s attorney told Gannett that Erzinger fled, hid his car behind an abandoned store and repeatedly tried to “cover up and minimize his conduct.”
“There is nothing I can do in this courtroom to make your life better,” Gannett told Milo. “You can be stuck or continue on a path of healing.”
Gannett warned Erzinger that he risks going to jail if he doesn’t do what he’s been ordered to.
“What counts most is what you do from this day forward,” Gannett said.
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