Some say that your college years are the best ones of your life—but that’s decidedly not the case for Madelyn Nicole Howard, an Indiana University student who is now facing three serious charges after hitting and killing another student while driving drunk.
Howard, 22, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury or death, causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and reckless homicide.
A Tragic Accident
The charges stem from a September 18, 2022 accident in which Howard, driving a 2012 Mercedes Benz, crashed into an electric scooter ridden by Nate Stratton, 20. Although Howard told her passenger, “I think I hit somebody,” she continued driving for another half a mile before the passenger instructed her to stop. Bystanders were also shouting for her to stop the car because it appeared to be dragging the scooter.
The pair and two bystanders were attempting to pull the mangled scooter out from under the BMW’s wheels when Bloomington police arrived. They saw Stratton lying in the intersection; he was taken to IU Health Bloomington Hospital, where he died just hours later.
In the meantime, officers took Howard into custody after she failed field sobriety tests. Despite being charged with three felonies, she was released the next day on a $2,000 bond, a move that angered Stratton’s family and friends.
An All-Too-Common Problem
Unfortunately, this tragic accident isn’t an outlier. Each year, drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated cause some 10,000 deaths. Of course, there are many more crashes that don’t result in fatalities but are responsible for injuries, property damage, and vehicle damage.
College students and their peers are likely to take more risks than older people. The human brain isn’t even fully developed until a person reaches their mid-20s! But sometimes, it takes an incredibly tragic story like this one to remind young people to think before they act and to be responsible in their actions.
There Is Help Available
If you are a college student, a young adult, or the parent of a college-age person, it’s important to know that there is help available after poor decisions have been made. When those decisions lead to criminal behavior, such as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, your best bet for not ruining the remainder of your life is to hire an attorney.
Here at Razumich & Associates, we have the experience and the compassion to help, no matter what accusations you face. Call us at 317-449-8661 or contact us online to learn more, ask questions, or schedule a consultation.