November 18, 1997 in Idaho

Pickup Driver Was Drunk, Prosecutors Claim Woman Accused In Hit-And-Run Accident That Killed Post Falls Boy

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The woman accused of killing a Post Falls Middle School student last week in a drunken-driving accident had a blood-alcohol level of more than double the legal limit, prosecutors said Monday.

Blood tests done by the state Department of Law Enforcement show Connie Bickley’s blood-alcohol level was .20 when she was arrested, Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas said. Idaho’s legal limit is .08.

Bickley, 54, is charged with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident in the death of Nicholas Scherling last Monday.

Her attorney has said Bickley admitted drinking before the accident but was not drunk.

Scherling, 13, was hit from behind while carrying his bicycle in the dirt along Seltice Way. He was on his way home after attending the second shift of classes at Post Falls Middle School.

Bickley checked the damage to her pickup and drove away from the accident scene, thinking she had hit a pole or a sign, her attorney, Glen Walker, said. She was on her way back to the accident site when she was arrested, Walker said.

Scherling’s death rekindled a debate over double-shifting at the school and started a call for street lights and sidewalks along Seltice Way.

But “sidewalks and all of the street lights in the world would not protect a person against a drunken driver,” Douglas said.

Douglas has asked anyone who witnessed the accident to call the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office at 769-4465 or the Idaho State Police at 772-6055.

Bickley’s fiance and Scherling’s best friend are among the witnesses police have questioned.

Police said Bickley’s fiance, who has not been identified, was following behind in a car and left the scene with her. Prosecutors are investigating the man’s involvement, but he has not been charged.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:

Witnesses wanted

Motorists who may have witnessed the accident that killed Nicholas Scherling last week in Post Falls have been asked to call the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office at 769-4465 or the Idaho State Police at 772-6055.

This sidebar appeared with the story: Witnesses wanted Motorists who may have witnessed the accident that killed Nicholas Scherling last week in Post Falls have been asked to call the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office at 769-4465 or the Idaho State Police at 772-6055.


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