Man who drove into cyclists sentenced to 40 days
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2013
CONCORD — A former Rockwell man who drove his SUV into a group of cyclists in 2010 was sentenced to 40 days in prison Tuesday.
Daniel Burton Wilson II will serve seven days immediately. The remainder will be served on a schedule determined, in part, by his probation officer.
Wilson, now 24, slammed into a group of cyclists as they traveled along St. Stephen’s Church Road in May 2010. He fled the scene, but turned himself in four hours later at the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.
He apologized Tuesday morning.
Tim Sigmon, who nearly lost his leg in the crash, said he was “pleased” with the outcome.
“It’s not a happy time for anybody. It’s not a time for celebration, especially for him,” Sigmon said. “Myself and the other victims hope this sends a signal to other motorists to be aware, to pay attention.”
Sigmon was one of the most badly injured riders in the incident.
His wife, Jill, took the stand first during the sentencing hearing Tuesday, blasting Wilson prior to the 24-year-old’s apologetic testimony.
“Not one bit of remorse,” Jill Williamson said of Wilson’s former trial testimony. “I want him to know what he did to my husband.”
Williamson recalled doctors urgently working in the emergency room to staple Sigmon’s leg together.
She said doctors informed them, when they asked for a second opinion to avoid surgery, there was no time.
“If we wait for a second opinion, you will probably lose your leg,” Williamson recalled doctors saying.
Following the cyclist’s wife, Wilson’s father, Daniel, took the stand.
He quickly changed the courtroom tone and after a few minutes wiped tears from beneath the sides of his eyeglasses.
“My son made a terrible decision to leave that day,” Wilson said. “There’s no question about it.”
Wilson said his son lives on his own and has worked for two years at the same place. His son also wrote an apologetic letter, he said, that never made it to the victims’ families.
“He’s not a monster,” Wilson said.
Daniel Wilson’s mother, Cathy Sienerth, followed, echoing apologies.
“Dan has wanted to apologize since that day and he’ll apologize today,” she said. “He’s learned a hard lesson.”
Cabarrus County Assistant District Attorney Tom Barcellona initially called for a stiff punishment for Wilson.
“The sentence needs to be proportionate to the impact that his actions have had on the six victims,” Barcellona said. “The impact was massive. He left these people there to die. He just left.”
But Barcellona later said “some” active prison sentence would satisfy victims.
Sigmon said he and several of the others victims wanted Wilson to be punished, but they wanted it to be fair.
“We didn’t want to ruin his life with an extremely long sentence,” Sigmon said.
Unlike his parents, Daniel Wilson didn’t shed a tear during his testimony.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “If I could go back now, I would.”
But Wilson’s confession to the act and his demeanor convinced Sigmon.
“I do feel like it was genuine, heartfelt,” he said. “It was appreciated, a long time coming.”
Wilson was also given 36 months of supervised probation, 100 hours of community service and a mandatory DNA testing requirement. If he violates probation, Wilson could face six to eight months in prison. Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.