A teenage Bucks County resident has been sentenced for the vehicular homicide death of a student he hit while she was boarding a Bensalem school bus.
Michael Shelly, 18, was sentenced to up to 23 months behind bars, with a possible release in a year, and 5 years of probation in the death of 16-year-old Minete Zeka, ABC reported, adding that Shelly must also contribute to a scholarship fund established in Zeka’s memory.
Zeka, 16, a sophomore at Bensalem High School, died after being hit on Bensalem Boulevard on Dec. 17, 2014, as she was walking in a crosswalk to board her school bus and was struck by Shelly’s 1984 Ford Bronco, ABC reported.
Court documents note that Zeka died of blunt force trauma and had suffered bleeding in the brain, fractures to her skull, spine, breastbone, ribs and femur, plus other related injuries, the Morning Call reported. Zeka’s body flew more than 100 feet, officials said in a related NBC Philadelphia report.
Shelly admitted in an affidavit quoted by ABC that the speedometer and defroster both did not work, saying, “I had basically tunnel vision. I only had a small area to see out front. My side windows were fogged up.”
Bucks County prosecutor Jonathan Long pointed out that Shelly told police he was using a T-shirt to wipe away condensation on his windshield to create a 1-foot-by-1-foot viewing area in order to drive, the Morning Call added, claiming that the vehicle also had counterfeit inspection stickers.
Shelly was charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and related offenses and was later convicted, ABC reported.
At the end of the trial, according to the Morning Call, Judge Gary B. Gilman called it a “very emotional case” and thanked the jury for their service.