Charges for Unlicensed Driver in Traffic Death

Kent County Unlicensed Driver Struck and Killed 4-year-old

Susan Rieckman, a 69-year-old resident of Cedar Springs in Kent County, is now facing felony charges for the car accident that killed a 4-year-old boy some weeks ago. Rieckman was legally an unlicensed driver, as the state had revoked her driver’s license for medical reasons.

According to Police in Greenville, the incident took place just before noon on September 14th. 4-year-old Talos Bills, along with a 16-year-old family friend, were walking home. As they crossed South Lafayette at Washington, Reickman’s pick up truck turned left from eastbound M-57. She did not see them.

Her car struck both minors, injuring the 16-year-old and killing little Talos. The older victim’s injuries were apparently minor, however Talos was declared dead at the hospital that same day. As a result, Reickman has been charged with driving on a suspended, revoked or denied license causing death. Under Michigan law this is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, with fines as high as $10,000.

According to records from the Montcalm County District Court, she was arraigned on Wednesday, October 21st. She was granted a bond of $2,500, which she has since posted. Since her release, Rieckman has shared with family members the fact that she did not see the boy as he crossed the street on the crosswalk. At the time of the collision, Talos was wearing a bright blue hoodie and pushing a red scooter.

Although no information is available regarding the reasons Reickman’s license was revoked beyond the fact that it was revoked in July of 2014, the Secretary of State website does provide some insight into the subject. According to the SOS website, the range of licensing actions available range from restrictions all the way to revocations. A restriction is usually temporary, with a specific start and end date, while a revocation is permanent.

Medical reasons for license revocation could include blindness, seizures, loss of consciousness, fainting spells, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Anything that affects your ability to properly see the road and road signs, affects your ability to make critical judgements and react in a timely manner, or affects your ability to remain fully conscious while driving could result in a loss of your license.

Reickman is scheduled to return to court for her next hearing on October 30th.

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