By Mike Gangloff
A Marion truck driver who struck and seriously injured a German cyclist drew a $500 fine Tuesday in Pulaski County General District Court.
Norman Richard Marchant, 46, was driving a delivery truck south on Virginia 100 when he hit Michael Sprick, a 40-year-old from Bad Laer, Germany, who was in the midst of a long-planned bicycle trip across the eastern United States.
Sprick did not regain consciousness after the Oct.8 wreck, and cyclists he had met along his journey rallied around him, traveling from other parts of the country to visit him in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and hosting relatives who came from Germany to be with him.
At Tuesday’s hearing, substitute Judge Jacqueline Talevi convicted Marchant of reckless driving and gave him a suspended 90-day jail sentence as well as a $500 fine. She also convicted Marchant of driving on a suspended license and imposed a fine of $100, to be suspended if he stayed out of further trouble.
Relatives said they planned to fly Sprick home to Germany on a special plane earlier this month. Carilion spokesman Eric Earnhart said Wednesday that Sprick has left the hospital.
Marchant’s attorney, Jimmy Turk of Radford, said Wednesday that his client “feels very bad about what happened. It’s clearly a tragic set of circumstances. But it’s nothing he did intentionally.”