A Palatka, Fla., man’s blood-alcohol level was nearly three times Mississippi’s legal limit after he struck a motorcyclist in Biloxi, causing life-threatening injuries.
Ronald James Carnley, sentenced on a guilty plea to DUI causing injury, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 after the Jan. 29, 2016, crash, Senior Assistant District Attorney Beth McFadyen Moore said in a news release Thursday. The state’s legal limit is 0.08.
Carnley has admitted driving in the crash that caused life-threatening injuries for David Sucharsky, 20, of Gulfport. The crash occurred on U.S. 90 after Sucharsky had left Ocean Springs and entered Biloxi. Sucharsky was knocked unconscious, bones broken, his lungs collapsed.
Harrison County Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt has imposed a 25-year prison term for Carnley and suspended six years, leaving 19 years to serve. Schmidt also ordered five years’ probation and restitution.
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Carnley was set for trial this week, but changed his plea.
“Witnesses to the crash reported seeing the defendant’s truck turn in front of the victim’s motorcycle, throwing the victim onto the pavement,” Moore said.
“The witnesses also confirmed that the motorcyclist wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
Sucharsky’s injuries included a broken left hip, a neck fracture, compound fractures in both arms, concussion, neck fractures and compound fractures in both arms . He still needs surgeries on his hip, knee and elbow, Moore said.
Biloxi police identified Carnley as the driver after the 11 p.m. crash and said they obtained a court order for a blood-alcohol test after he refused a field-sobriety test.
Carnley this week told the judge he had been drinking beer and liquor and said he didn’t remember the crash, and said he may have blacked out, Moore said.
Sucharsky, an only child, told the judge he has tried to remain positive during the past 18 months, she said. He wanted the judge to know his father has stayed by his side.
Sucharsky, who won an automotive award in high school, was working at O’Reilly’s on Pass Road, according to his father, Frank Sucharsky.