Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Hit-and-run driver gets nine months

Posted by on May 8th, 2007 at 9:44 am

John Carothers/Police photo

Last summer, John Carothers (in photo) sped by cyclist Cindy Sharp on a rural road in Washington County (read an account of by someone on the ride). Carothers was towing a boat and allegedly threw water on Sharp as he drove by. The incident resulted in Sharp being bumped off the road and into a ditch, severely injuring her arm.

Carothers did not stop to see if she was OK and the community went on an all-out offensive to find him. Just five days later, acting on tips from the public, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office tracked Carothers down and he turned himself in.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to nine months in jail. According to a report on KGW, he could be eligible to serve the last eight months of his sentence in a work-release program if he shows good behavior.

*In an email to the OBRA list last week, Sharp’s riding partner John Schader had these details:

“As for the boat: he (Carothers) has agreed to sell the boat and the trailer and he will donate $5000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society (the organization for which Cindy was cycling and raising money last summer).”

Schader also added that the passenger who spit water in Sharp’s face just before the trailer knocked her off the road pled guilty to a misdemeanor. He was supposed to get 30 days in jail, but instead got 8 months in an Arizona prison for a probation violation.

[*These last two paragraphs were added after I posted the initial story.]

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10 Comments
  • Tomas Quinones May 8, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I wish the jerks that bumped me off the road in Michigan were caught like this. A dislocated shoulder is not a minor wound.

    Justice Prevails!

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 8, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Jonathan, do you know whether there has been any civil action against Carothers to force him to pay for Cindy Sharp’s medical bills and other damages? Seems like selling that boat and truck at auction might bring a substantial fraction of the costs…

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  • Jonathan Maus / BikePortland May 8, 2007 at 10:18 am

    A_O,

    Here’s the answer to your question from John Schader via the OBRA email list last week:
    “As for the boat: he has agreed to sell the boat and the trailer and he will donate $5000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society (the organization for which Cindy was cycling and raising money last summer).”

    The full email has more details.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 8, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Wow, Cindy is a saint.

    Although I understand the conventional wisdom that anyone who has a job needs to be able to drive in order to avoid losing the job and thus becoming a drain on society, I strongly believe an essential component of the punishment for crimes such as those committed by Carothers should be a *permanent* ban on him ever driving a motor vehicle again. There is no right to drive; it’s a privilege, and one that should be revoked when it is intentionally abused.

    These felons should be encouraged to work out some arrangement for getting to work, such as using a family member or paying a driver. And that arrangement should be monitored by the court. Better yet, they should be required to ride a bike everywhere they need to go.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 8, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Oh, and thanks for the additional info. I really appreciate knowing the rest of the (legal) story.

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  • BoggyWoggy May 8, 2007 at 10:32 am

    In Corvallis, a young college-aged man received on 150 days in jail for shooting a homeless man in the leg from his fraternity window…
    What a joke!

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  • Cecil May 8, 2007 at 10:40 am

    “Although I understand the conventional wisdom that anyone who has a job needs to be able to drive in order to avoid losing the job and thus becoming a drain on society.”

    Or, of course, he could bike commute, take a bus, or MAX. Are any combination thereof.

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  • Jorge May 8, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Yeah Cindy!
    I was part of her Teams in Training group last year but wasn’t on this ride. This guy and his passenger are idiots. Idiots tend to repeat idiotic behavior…we’ll see if this guy can get his life back together and contribute something positive back to society. His water throwing/spitting passenger, on the other hand, is vermin.
    Any news on when he’ll be sentenced or has that already happened?

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  • BillD May 8, 2007 at 11:31 am

    I agree with A_O. Intentional use of a motor vehicle to cause serious bodily harm should be grounds for lifetime loss of driving privileges. No exceptions!

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  • Scott May 8, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I too was on the team and was on part of this ride.

    Jorge,

    The spitter was, I believe, sentenced to a mere misdemeanor – all that he really could be sentenced with. What he didn’t count on was this triggering a probation violation for something in Arizona(?). He was sent down and the judge there sentenced him to 8 or 9 months in prison.

    The extra bit of information on the driver is that he is the primary financial support for two children. This was one of the key reasons it was deemed better for him to serve in a work release program.

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