She knew that he didn't really hit a deer
According to the Center for Disease Control, “In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.” Alcohol-related crashes are completely preventable, if an impaired person would just have enough sense to take a cab home or ask for a ride from a sober person. This is just one more story of how drunk driving can affect people. He may never have been caught if his wife didn’t do the right thing.
Ryan Peterson is just your average 39-year-old guy from Salem, Wisconsin. He went over to a relative’s house to watch the Green Bay Packers play on September 17, and had a few drinks during the game.
While he was on the dark, lonely road home, Ryan said that he lost focus on the road while trying to plug in his car charger and plowed into what he thought was a deer. He looked in his rearview mirror and didn’t see anything so continued driving home.
When Ryan arrived there, he told his wife Trisha that he thought he hit a deer, which led to his side mirror and windshield being cracked. They put the damaged car into the garage so that the kids wouldn’t see it and become upset.
Trisha wasn’t completely convinced about his story and grew concerned.
The next day, she found out that a person had been hit and killed by a car along the same road that Ryan takes to get home. Trisha is an instructional aide at Central High School, so she approached the school’s resource officer to discuss how her husband hit something the night before, and she was worried that it might be that person. Afterwards, more police were called in to speak with her.
After hearing Trisha’s story, Ryan was found and investigated. It was quickly determined that he was the man who committed a hit-and-run homicide, whether he knew it or not. Under state law, drivers are obligated to figure out what they hit in any crash.
They couldn’t draw a blood sample from him because too much time had passed, but he admitted to having three vodka cocktails and two beers before getting into his car to head home to his wife and kids. We’ll never know what his blood alcohol content was at the time, but he thought that he was sober enough to drive home.
Ryan ran over 29-year-old Jackie Hutchenson when he was on his bicycle at least four feet away from the road. From what they could gather, Ryan had not attempted to slow down before running his Volvo into the back of Jackie, and did not take evasive action before or after the crash. The man was found by his mother, who set off looking for him because he didn’t come home, and another passing driver. Jackie was found to be dead from a severe head injury.
Hate in Their Hearts
Jackie’s mom Delise Hutcheson said, “That was my baby boy. He took him away from me, I’ll never be able to see him again. One day we’re going to have to forgive this man for taking our son away, because that’s the Christian thing to do. But today we have hate in our hearts.”
Ryan was arrested and charged with hit-and-run resulting in death and homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. He sits in jail on a $15,000 bond. He will not face DUI charges because there was no way to tell if he was actually drunk at the time of the crash.
If convicted, he can spend some years in prison. SHARE this story about the devastating consequences of drinking and driving.