UPDATE: Rider who left after passenger fell off and was killed.

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by Hozhead, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Hozhead

    Hozhead <img src="/images/ranks/site_founder.gif" alt="BRN

    The jury is set to try William Wheeler, the man who left the scene after the passenger on his motorcycle fell off on the freeway and was killed.

    http://idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060424/FRONTPAGE/60424008

    3:34 p.m. Jury trial set for man charged with vehicular manslaughter after woman riding on his motorcycle fell off and was run over by a semi
    By Patrick Orr
    Idaho Statesman
    The Idaho Statesman | Edition Date: 04-24-2006


    A jury trial is scheduled for this summer for a Boise man charged with vehicular manslaughter after a woman riding on the back of his motorcycle fell off on Interstate 84 and was run over by a semi-tractor trailer.

    William Wheeler, 50, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and felony leaving the scene of an accident charges at his arraignment hearing today. Fourth District Judge Deborah Bail scheduled Wheeler?s jury trial to begin July 18.

    Donna Franks, 40, died as a result of massive blunt force trauma after falling off the back of a motorcycle driven by Wheeler around 7:22 p.m. March 9. Witnesses said a semi-truck hit the woman after she fell; the Ada County coroner said her injuries were consistent with that description. Idaho State Police investigators have not been able to find the driver of the truck, however, spokesman Rick Ohnsman said today.

    Idaho State Police say Wheeler; who witnesses say was driving erratically prior to the accident, sped away from the scene shortly after Franks fell off his motorcycle. ISP Investigators also say alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the accident. Franks was not wearing a helmet when she fell off the Saxon single-seat chopper, which had a rear seat retrofitted to the back with suction cups, according to ISP reports.

    If convicted of manslaughter, it would be the second such conviction for Wheeler, who served almost eight years in Idaho prisons after a 1984 conviction for second-degree murder ? a charge that was changed to voluntary manslaughter in 1992 after a judge ordered a new jury trial for Wheeler. Wheeler also has had several traffic tickets in Ada County, including a citation for speeding in January.
     
  2. Hozhead

    Hozhead <img src="/images/ranks/site_founder.gif" alt="BRN

    Re: UPDATE: He pled 'not guilty'

    http://idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs...25/NEWS0112/604250380&SearchID=73242685697391


    Motorcyclist pleads not guilty in woman's death
    statesman staff
    Edition Date: 04-25-2006

    A Boise man pleaded not guilty Monday to vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal accident on Interstate 84 when a woman fell off his motorcycle and was hit by a semi-truck.

    William Wheeler, 50, also pleaded not guilty in District Court to a charge of felony leaving the scene of an accident.

    Donna Franks, 40, died as a result of massive blunt-force trauma after falling off the back of the motorcycle Wheeler drove about 7:22 p.m. March 9. Witnesses said the semi-truck hit the woman after she fell; the Ada County coroner said her injuries were consistent with that description.

    Idaho State Police investigators have not been able to find the driver of the truck, however, spokesman Rick Ohnsman said Monday. Idaho State Police said Wheeler sped away shortly after Franks fell off. Witnesses say he was driving erratically before the accident.

    State Police investigators say alcohol is suspected to be a factor.

    Franks was not wearing a helmet when she fell off. The Saxon single-seat motorcycle had a rear seat retrofitted to the back with suction cups, according to police.

    At his arraignment hearing Monday, 4th District Judge Deborah Bail scheduled Wheeler's jury trial to begin July 18.
     

  3. Tanman

    Tanman Moderator

    Here's an update to this story from today's IdahoStatesman....

    A Boise man will spend at least the next five years in prison for driving his motorcycle so erratically that the woman riding on the back fell off and died on Interstate 84 last March.
    William Wheeler, 50, appeared distraught and declined to speak in court Monday before he was sentenced by 4th District Judge Deborah Bail to 15 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter.

    Donna Franks, 40, of Meridian died March 9 after she fell off a small seat that was retrofitted to the back of Wheeler?s single-seat chopper with suction cups, Idaho State Police said. Witnesses told police a semi-truck hit the woman after she fell off the bike, but investigators were never able to find a truck in connection with the accident, ISP spokesman Rick Ohnsman said Monday. Franks? injuries were consistent with getting hit by a truck, according to Ada County coroner reports.

    Witnesses told ISP investigators they had seen Wheeler drinking earlier that day and that he was driving erratically just before the accident, which occurred near in the eastbound lanes of I-84 near Black Cat Road.

    Blood-alcohol tests for Wheeler came in at 0.19 percent, more than double Idaho?s legal driving limit of 0.08 percent. Wheeler also tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of the accident, but he said he had not used the drug for several days before the accident, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor George Gunn said.

    Bail told Wheeler on Monday that he could appeal to reduce the fixed term of five years in prison if he actively pursued treatment for alcohol abuse while in prison.

    Franks, who was not wearing a helmet, died from massive blunt force trauma after the 7:22 p.m. accident. Witnesses told police that Franks appeared to have been hit by a semi truck after falling off the motorcycle.

    Witnesses told police Wheeler stopped briefly near the accident and checked on Franks before driving away; a witness wrote down the license number of the motorcycle, and Wheeler was arrested about an hour later at his residence in the 6700 block of Ruddsdale Street.

    Before going home, Wheeler called Frank?s daughter, telling her, ?I did something very bad? and that her mother was dead, Ada County prosecutors said in court earlier this year.

    As part of a plea agreement with Ada County prosecutors, Wheeler pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in exchange for dismissing the charge of felony leaving the scene of an accident.

    This is the second time Wheeler has been convicted in connection with an Ada County death.

    Wheeler served almost eight years in Idaho prisons after a 1984 conviction on second-degree murder for killing a man with a shotgun ? a charge that was reduced to voluntary manslaughter in 1992 after a judge ordered a new jury trial for Wheeler.

    He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge, received credit for time served and was placed on probation for seven years.
     
  4. SAd that she died.Even more so that she ever got on the back of his bike
     
  5. Hozhead

    Hozhead <img src="/images/ranks/site_founder.gif" alt="BRN

    Thanks for posting the update on this, Brian.
    That was one seriously messed up situation and I'm glad the guy didn't completely get off the hook for such irresponsible actions.
     
  6. Yeah, that's BS.

    Hmmmm..I'm bored. I know, I'll grab some whisky, a little bit of meth...then I'll put a chick on the back of my bike...then..
     
  7. Not sure why the date says March 9, 2006...it was March 7, 2006. This was my little sister, still miss her terribly! :(
     
Loading...
Similar Threads Forum Date
Lowman Loop Update Rides Apr 18, 2015
UPDATE-- $100 sets of takeoffs aka Race tires with 95% Tread left - $100 Classifieds Sep 11, 2014
Lowman Loop update 8-29 Rides Aug 29, 2014
Lowman Loop Update? Motorcycle Talk Aug 17, 2014
RFR Track update Track Time Apr 15, 2014

Share This Page