Driver Nicholas Wahl pleads guilty to negligent homicide in fata
Posted: 4:00 p.m. January 4, 201066 Comments. Comment Now
The driver of a van that struck and killed a bicyclist in Pittsfield Township in July pleaded guilty to negligent homicide today under an agreement that calls for no upfront jail time.
Nicholas Wahl, 20, of Clinton was charged with the high-court misdemeanor in the death of Tim Pincikowski, 45, of Saline.
Wahl, who had no criminal record, faced up to two years in prison if convicted. During a pre-trial hearing today, he pleaded guilty to the charge under a sentencing agreement with Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Melinda Morris.
Under the terms of the deal, Wahl will not serve any jail time and will be sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which means he will have no criminal record if he successfully completes probation. Judges can sentence anyone between the ages of 17 and 20 under the act if they plead guilty to a crime, although certain crimes are excluded.
Police testified during a preliminary hearing in October that Wahl admitted he took his eyes off the road for a moment to change a pre-set radio station just before the crash.
Authorities say Wahl was driving north on Maple Road on July 28 at about 5 p.m. when his van struck Pincikowski’s bicycle. Witnesses testified the bicyclist was on the fog line or in the travel portion of the roadway close to the line.
Joseph Simon, Wahl’s attorney, declined to comment this afternoon but said he may comment at sentencing. Wahl is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 22 and remains free on bond.
Pincikowski was an avid bicyclist and a project manager/chemist at BASF in Wyandotte. He lived in Saline’s Wildwood subdivision with his wife, 18-year-old son, Michael, and 4-year-old daughter, Lauren.