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Probation for Kalamazoo man who struck pedestrian

A Kalamazoo, Michigan, man recently received a light sentence after he struck and injured a pedestrian in what proved to be a drunk driving accident. The lenient sentence, which included only probation, was warranted after prosecutors determined that the man did not cause the crash.

The legal happenings stemmed from a crash back in September of 2012, which occurred in front of Waldo Stadium, home to the Western Michigan University football team. In fact, the accident occurred at 7:45 p.m. during the team's first home game of the season.

The man was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee heading east on Stadium Drive when he hit a 24-year-old man, who was on foot. Police that responded to the accident administered two alcohol breath tests an hour after the incident, revealing the driver had a blood alcohol content of .12. He also admitted that he had been drinking alcohol prior to the crash.

Meanwhile, the pedestrian sustained serious injuries. He slipped into a coma for a two-week period but eventually made a full recovery.

While one might expect the admitted drunk driver to face harsh criminal penalties, he did not. Witnesses to the crash admitted that the pedestrian sparked the accident by running out in front of the man's vehicle. The pedestrian also had more alcohol in his system than the driver.

The driver will return to court for sentencing, but per terms of the plea deal, he is expected to face only probation. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drunk driving.

While the man may have been wrong to get behind the wheel after drinking, he did not directly cause harm to the pedestrian or other drivers. For that reason, he faces a more run-of-the-mill drunk driving charge, which still could present a set of challenging consequences. At the end of the day, his legal team found it best to plead guilty.

Source: MLive.com, "Kalamazoo man pleads guilty to drunken driving in crash near Waldo Stadium that injured Adam Raut," Rex Hall Jr., Jan. 15, 2013

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