Manhunt for Two-time DUI offender ends after Fatal Bike Hit-and-Run
The hunt ended this weekend for a two-time DUI offender who allegedly killed someone in a reported booze-fueled vehicle-vs.-bicycle accident.
Michelle Erickson is 31 years old, stands 5'10" and weighs 165 pounds. She has blue eyes and blond hair. She sometimes uses the alias Michelle Clough. According to the D.A.'s office, her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when she allegedly struck and killed a bicyclist.
According to authorities, they were seeking her on a $1 million vehicular manslaughter arrest warrant. She was last seen in the Pollock Pines area of El Dorado County before she was reported arrested 1-25-2014 by the EDSO.
Jon Ecv Clough of Diesel Technician at Central striping wrote: "... stupid allegations on false and criminalizing accusations a stupid tweeker rode her bike Into the street without looking or able to comprehend the fact she was cross the street on a bike when a car was right in frout of her..."
Erickson was driving on Pony Express Trail west of Pony Bob Drive on April 26, 2013, according to reports at the time from the Mountain Democrat newspaper of Placerville, when she allegedly struck the cyclist. The cyclist died of injuries several days later, the Mountain Democrat reported.
According to news reports, Erickson was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, but was released on bail in May.
El Dorado County District Attorney’s officials said Erickson, who also goes by the last name Clough, dropped out of sight in June, but was last seen in the Pollock Pines area. Prosecutors later issued the $1 million arrest warrant.
Sheriff’s officials said Erickson came forward Saturday morning.
“She called one of our deputies and arranged to meet at the jail where she turned herself in,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Leikauf.
Earlier Fox News story:
Authorities are actively searching for the drunk driver who hit and eventually killed 28-year old Crystal Wood of Pollock Pines last April.
The El Dorado Sheriff’s Department Private Investigator Dave Stevenson declared 31-year-old Michelle Erickson as a wanted person on $1 million warrant on Friday.
On April 26, 2013, Erickson crashed her SUV into Crystal Wood, who was biking in the area. Officers arrested Erickson, who had twice the legal amount of alcohol in her system, and charged her for a felony DUI. Wood was transported to the hospital for severe injuries.
“The next day, unfortunately Ms. Wood succumbed to her injuries and passed away,” Sgt. Chris Sahagan of the California Highway Patrol said. “However, Ms. Erickson was released from jail prior to Ms. Wood passing away, so the charges of manslaughter had not yet been filed.”
Erickson paid the $25,000 bail, and spent the next nine months as a free woman. Neighbors say, she continued to work at the Rusty Nails Saloon on Pony Express Trail as a bar tender, just steps from the accident scene.
“The court system takes quite a long time, especially those with felony charges, for cases to come to a full trial,” Sgt. Sahagan explained.
Now that manslaughter charges have been formally added, and her bail posted at $1 million, officers are looking for Erickson.
“She has prior convictions of DUI, so she shouldn’t be driving,” Sgt. Sahagan said.
While the focus is now on Erickson, friends of the victim want people to know that Wood’s legacy still lives on.
“I witnessed her [Wood] signing her donor card,” Lynn Clark-Wallace, Wood’s close friend recalled “She was so proud of herself getting her California ID. She said, ‘What’s this little mark?’ I said, ‘You mean, the little sticker?’ She said, ”I get prizes too!” I said, ‘No. That’s so you’re a donor.’ She says, ‘You mean, something they can use after I’m gone? I said, ‘Yea!’ And then she said, ‘Oh, yea, I’m on board. Give it to the children!‘”
As an organ donor, Clark-Wallace said Woods was able to save nine lives.
“She’s awesome… That’s all I could say… She was Crystal,” Clark-Wallace said.
In a town 8-square-miles big, with less than 7,000 people, most people know both Wood and Erickson. While Clark-Wallace misses her dear friend, she also hopes Erickson finds the help she needs, and her small city of Pollock Pines recovers fro the tragedy.
“She needs to answer to her consequences,” Clark-Wallace said. “And be judged by a jury of her peers, or as God sees fit. It’s not for me to say.”