Driver in fatal wrong-way accident sentenced to 10 years

SEATTLE — A man who had gotten drunk, drove the wrong way on the SR 520 Bridge and plowed head-on into another car, killing the driver, tearfully apologized Friday before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

wrongwayMichael Robertson, 25, had pleaded guilty to the DUI vehicular homicide charge.

He was drunk and driving the wrong way on the SR 520 Bridge in April when he slammed head-on into another car, killing Morgan Williams, 58.

Robertson, who was still in a wheelchair from the accident, cried throughout his sentencing hearing Friday and apologized to the victim’s friends and family.

But Williams’ life partner, Jerry Esterly, told Robertson, “I generally start to cry at 3:30 in the afternoon when she’d come home from work, and the dog waits by the door. I cry and then nighttime comes and that’s when things get kind of tough.”

Last year, a new law was enacted that doubled the standard range for vehicular homicide, making it equal to manslaughter.  That added two years to Robertson’s sentence.

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19 comments

  • Guest

    I agree with esco. The apology was good but too little too late. I hope he learns from this and never touches so much as a drop of alcohol again. Personally I don't think he got nearly enough time in prison but the judge did the best he could under the law as it now stands.

  • NAVYTOWN

    Yet another slap on the wrist courtesy of our so-called 'justice' system. If the actual penalty was life in prison, with no exceptions, we just might see far fewer of these drunken wrong-way fatalities.

  • Wynne

    10 years is too long. Deliberate homicide killers often get not much more than that–even less time.

    This case is tragic. Tragic. Tragic. Tragic. It is obviously tragic for the victim and the victim’s loved ones. But the eagerness–the wanton desire to compound this tragedy further is astounding and heartbreaking. It is even worse than the tragic accident itself. Why? Because the other victim, the young man in the wheel chair who will also spend he next 10 years in prison, was reckless and thoughtless, sure, failing to calculate the risk. However, he did not willfully set out to throw away another human being’s life. He didn’t wake up and say, “Hey, I think I’ll go out and end Morgan William’s life today.” No, he was a young man, a product of our society, that drank alcohol our society values so highly–including the government for it’s money–and he drove, unfortunately as many young men his age do. Society’s value: alcohol. cars. And with these values held high in esteem, society also failed to impress upon this young man the risk he posed to himself and others in subscribing to society’s alcohol and vehicle values.

    But what the posters who’ve posted here thus far, and the victim’s partner have done wrong is they have willingly made a choice to diminish this young man’s life and not recognize he is also a victim, being the impetus of this tragedy notwithstanding.

    The better road, the better way to honor Morgan Williams is to partner with this young man to make a difference in society that this might not happen again. Recognize that he also has tremendous value and that his life along with Morgan’s is lost–but in a much different way. Anger, hatred, want of revenge will not bring Morgan back, but partnering with this young man can make a difference so that other Morgan’s aren’t lost, neither are other Michael Robinson’s.

    I am truly truly sorry that Morgan’s life was lost. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones. Please honor her life in good. In kindness and in benevolence forward. Please stop the next tragedy from happening.

    Also, please, please don’t wait too long to reach out to the grieving and heartbroken ever sorrowful young man in the wheelchair in prison.

    • SickOfThis

      By drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, he became a "deliberate homicide killer." There is NO excuse to drink and drive. Ever.

    • mike walker

      Kid will do 5 yrs max. They give each day you behave your self in there a day off sentence. Thing is whos gonna hire a convicted felon who killed some chick. No one…., so he'll most likely become a proffesional criminal

    • Edith Hall

      Thank you for your kind words, Wynne. I have reached out to this young man that I never knew before the accident and I am the same age as Morgan. He is truly sorry for what he has done and wants to donate money to Morgan's charity when he is released.

    • ab weston

      I just got sick reading your post. You are what is wrong with society. There is only 1 victim here and that is Morgan. I wish they would have a 1 year mandatory in prison for a DUI. Death Penalty for killing someone. Life for harming someone.

  • Stephanie

    Very sad, and yes, inexcuseable. At least he just plead guilty and got it over with. I hate it when peple plead not guilty to shit they actually did do! Prayers to all families.

  • mydogismyheart

    Why is it that the offenders always survive and the victims die? Every time it seems like. It's so sad. I wish it was the other way around, this guy should be dead and Morgan should be alive. Not fair. Not fair that he can do something so incredibly stupid and an innocent person has to die. Sorry, but he should have LIFE in prison. He voluntarily chose to drink and drive, that is manslaughter all the way!!!

    • bluemalak

      Drunks have slow reflexes, which in an accident, keeps them from sustaining the mortal injuries that their victims die from. I have nothing against drinking, I do it, but I do not go out to a bar, get drunk, then think it's okay to drive. It's never okay to drive if you've been drinking. It's not rocket science, any idiot should be able to figure that out. If you get drunk then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you're taking a chance on murdering someone, it's that simple.

  • Anonymous

    There is so much going on to protect drunk drivers, I’m guessing the reason they are so lenient with these kinds of “killers” is so that their chances of re-offending will create fatter wallets, SOMEONE or some companies can’t deny this. When will the thinking change into courteous, safe driving habits, where every person gets home safe to their loved ones? Well, I’m sorry, but this guy should have been given life in prison. I for one always keep an eye out on the road for ANY kind of bad drivers, and if I see any, I’ll either get the hell as far from them as I can or alert my driver to do the same. Since our Justice System fails here, personal safety has to be #1 priority now, guys……