Plea deal offered in drugged driving causing injury case

November 13, 2023


Plea deal offered in drugged driving causing injury case

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

HART — A 32-year-old man currently incarcerated in prison on a parole violation has been offered a plea arrangement in a drugged driving case involving a motorcycle vs. truck crash

Nicholas James Gale was charged with a felony of operating while intoxicated causing serious impairment following a crash last June near the intersection of State Street and West South Avenue in Hesperia.

Gale is accused of driving under the influence of drugs during the collision.

The motorcyclist, who is a 35-year-old Holton man, was transported to Trinity Health Hospital in Muskegon by Life EMS.

Gale, who was driving a 2001 Ford 150 pickup truck, was northbound on State Street “when he failed to yield the right-of-way,” striking a westbound 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycle, according to the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office accident report. The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, and Gale was not injured.

Gale appeared for a pretrial hearing in Oceana County’s 51st Circuit Court Monday, Nov. 13, via Zoom video conferencing from Central Michigan Correctional Facility in Saint Louis, Michigan. 

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon offered an arrangement for Gale to plead to operating under the influence and “dismiss the issue of causing a serious injury as we have not received medical records that we have requested since the day of the crash.” The prosecutor’s office is requesting records from the accident victim, and the records have not been provided. 

“We have received records from a different health system that either do not show a statutorily qualifying injury or refute such an injury,” said Bizon. 

Gale’s attorney, Julie Springstead, said her client would not accept the offer today. “We appreciate it very much,” she said. Because he is being held in prison on parole violation, he needs to talk to a specialist to find out how it affects the parole violation, Springstead explained.

A new date of Dec. 4 at 9:30 a.m. has been scheduled for another pretrial hearing.

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