Driver sentenced for hitting, killing a bicyclist in Anderson Twp. while on heroin
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A driver who was on heroin when he hit and killed a bicycle rider in Anderson Township admitted his guilt Thursday morning. Steven Sickle pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to stop after an accident. Judge Steven Martin sentenced Sickle to 14 years in prison, which was the maximum.
William Rust was riding on the shoulder of US 52, near Nine Mile Road, when Sickle's car hit Rust on May 22. Rust was thrown from the bike onto Sickle's car before he fell to the ground. Sickle drove off. Witnesses flagged down an off-deputy who called for help.
Someone in a camper saw Sickle pull into a nearby campground and brought him back to the scene. Sickle's attorney had previously said his client wasn't sure what he hit and went to the campground because his vehicle was disabled.
A corporal with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said that they believe Rust was carried on Sickle's car for a period of time and it was unlikely he didn't realize that he had hit a person. During sentencing, it was revealed that Sickle's windshield was cracked and Rust's helmet was inside the vehicle.
Sickle admitted to investigators he had used heroin before the accident. During the sentencing hearing, attorney Mark Krumbein said Sickle worked until he suffered an injury and was prescribed opiates. He became addicted and when the prescriptions stopped, Sickle sought illegal substitutes, including heroin.
Sickle apologized to Rust's family in court. "I've been thinking about this day for a long time."
Several of Rust's family members spoke in court about their loss and how Rust's death had affected them. "We loved Rusty dearly and not a day goes by that the kids and I don't think about our tremendous loss," said wife Mary Rust. "Who ever said life isn't fair was not kidding."
Judge Martin told Sickle he hadn't seen him show any genuine remorse and said the crime deserved a life sentence but he was restricted by law. He suggested the legislature use this case to change the state laws.