By Jacob Mathias
A Nelsonville man faces three felonies and nearly 30 years imprisonment after injuring a motorcyclist while allegedly driving under the influence.
Cody Fisher, 24, is charged with two counts of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle, a felony for which he could see up to a $25,000 fine, 12-and-a-half years imprisonment or both for each count if convicted.
He is also charged with felony operating of a vehicle with a revoked license, which carries a maximum sentence of a $10,000 fine, three years and six months imprisonment or both.
Fisher made his initial appearance in Portage Co. Circuit Court on Aug. 15.
According to the criminal complaint, deputies responded to a two-vehicle accident on July 30 at about 12:50 AM on 9500 block of Cty. Rd. KK in the Town of Amherst. Deputies noted an overturned motorcycle in a driveway and a small silver car in the ditch on the opposite side of the road.
A witness told the deputy the injured motorcycle driver was already in an ambulance and the driver of the car was standing by his vehicle.
In an interview with deputies, the drive of the vehicle — Fisher — said he was aware of the motorcycle in front of him but did not notice it slowing down. He said he was distracted by his dogs, who were in the back seat of the car, and by the time he looked up again it was too late and he struck the motorcycle.
Fisher smelled of alcohol, according to the criminal complaint, who told the deputy he had been drinking the night before.
“I’m not going to lie to you officer, it was my buddy’s birthday, a lot of beers and shots,” Fisher reportedly told the deputy.
A breathalyzer test indicated Fisher’s blood-alcohol level was 0.237. Under state statute, Fisher’s blood-alcohol level qualifies his fines to be tripled.
Fisher was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital for a blood draw and then transferred to the Portage Co. Jail for further processing.
The motorcycle driver sustained a “large laceration” on his forehead, according to the complaint, requiring over 30 stitches inside the wound and another 46 to close up the man’s forehead. The injured man’s wife also reported he was diagnosed with a chipped skull, major concussion and possible misaligned or cracked vertebrae. He was also reported to have missed a lot of work, according to the complaint.
Fisher was previously convicted of OWIs in July 2012 and May 2015. He is currently free on a $5,000 cash bond under conditions he not operate a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, participates in the Portage Co. Pre-Trial Supervision Program and not operate a vehicle unless absolutely sober.