Driver takes plea deal in 2014 death of Boise bicyclist

Sharon Howell.
Sharon Howell.

A Kuna driver who was legally drunk at the time she struck and killed a Boise bicyclist in the fall of 2014 pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and DUI, according to online court records.

Sharon E. Howell, 42, was originally charged with felony vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor DUI in the death of Kurt Krieger, 47.

Howell accepted a plea deal about a week before a jury trial was set to begin. The arrangement will put her on supervised probation for four years and also suspend her driver’s license for that time, according to court records and the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.

Depending on how her probation goes, the judge overseeing her case set aside 180 days of “discretionary” jail time that he or a probation officer may impose. Another 30 days of jail time were suspended and could kick in if she violates her probation, according to online court records. She was given credit for 155 days already served in jail.

Howell must pay fines and fees totaling $360, and prosecutors have requested restitution in the amount of $300.

Krieger died at the scene of the collision, which occurred at 4:48 p.m. Nov. 28, 2014, on Meridian Road at its intersection with Lake Hazel Road.

Sheriff’s investigators said Krieger was headed west on Lake Hazel, attempting to cross Meridian. Howell’s car was traveling north on Meridian, the ITD report shows. The point of impact on the vehicle was the center of the front bumper.

Krieger was not wearing a helmet. Two-off duty nurses administered CPR, but he died at the scene.

Toxicology tests showed that Howell’s blood alcohol level was .09; the legal limit is .08.

Driver distraction was listed as a contributing factor in the crash. The investigator’s summary of the collision said the driver was distracted by taking a drink from a “sports drink bottle.”

Howell was not charged in connection with the crash until July 2015, eight months later.

She was initially released on $20,000 bond. But in October, her bond was revoked because she was found to be in violation of the terms of her pre-trial release. She was taken back into custody, and a new bond of $250,000 was set.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller