Driver in scooter crash pleads not guilty

July 31, 2013 

Thomas MacFarlane

— Thomas MacFarlane, 22, was given a trial date of Nov. 4, during an appearance today in Ada County Fourth District Court.

MacFarlane was charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident resulting in an injury. If convicted, he could face five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He would also lose his license for a year after leaving prison.

Mirika Bideganeta, a passenger on the back of MacFarlane's moped on July 7, suffered a serious head injury. MacFarlane allegedly dragged or carried her a block and a half away from the crash scene at Garfield and Manitou streets and left her in the driveway of a residence. A man who came out to walk his dog found Bideganeta several hours later and called for help.

McFarlane, a Boise State University student, was released from the Ada County Jail last week after posting $250,000 bond.

Prosecutors say he admitted to drinking alcohol before the crash.

MacFarlane has been found guilty of speeding three times in the past two years, including once in a school zone.

During today's hearing, District Judge Patrick Owen ordered MacFarlane to have no contact with Bideganeta, who remains in treatment at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise.

Bideganeta was listed in fair condition today, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The trial is expected to last five days.

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