ST. GEORGE — A woman has been sentenced to 60 days of electronic monitoring and three years of supervised probation after driving under the influence in July ended in severe injuries for a motorcyclist who was dragged under her car. 

Susan McKinney stands with her attorney Ron Noyes during sentencing at 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, Oct. 31, 2023 | Video screenshot courtesy Utah State Courts, St. George News

Susan Marie McKinney, 66, avoided a tougher sentence of up to five years in prison after agreeing to a plea deal in August and pleading guilty to the third-degree felony of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in serious bodily injury. A failure to yield infraction was dismissed. 

In the plea agreement obtained by St. George News, McKinney, a St. George resident, admitted to driving her Honda Fit on July 19 while under the influence of a prescription drug that impairs the ability to drive. 

She said while making a left turn at the corner of Red Cliffs Drive and 2450 East, she failed to yield to an oncoming Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The motorcycle ended up wedged under the rear of the Honda.

The lunchtime crash closed a stretch of the usually busy Red Cliffs Drive for nearly three hours.

The motorcycle’s rider, Jamison Fieseler, is still rehabilitating, according to family, after suffering severe injuries that included those to his head. 

Standing with her attorney Ron Noyes in 5th District Court on Tuesday afternoon, McKinney said little other than her understanding that she had the right to appeal the conviction. Judge Eric Ludlow said he was giving the maximum sentence he could under the plea agreement. 

A Harley-Davidson is partially crushed under a Honda Fit after a crash at the corner of Red Hills Drive and 2450 East. The photo has been altered to obscure the license plate, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2023 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

“You stand convicted,” Ludlow told McKinney. “Thank heavens the person on the motorcycle was not killed.”

McKinney’s attorney, citing her being destitute, asked that the judge waive the requirement that McKinney pay for her electronic monitoring that will last up to the second-to-last day of the year. Ludlow denied this request.

“You’re not going to jail,” Ludlow said. “You just need to check in to parole.” 

Along with the 60 days of monitoring and three years probation, McKinney was fined an additional $1,000.

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