Skip to main content

Texting Driver Who Killed Woman Arrested Again For DUI

The Michigan woman who landed herself in jail after striking a mother of two while texting and driving has been arrested yet again, two years later, for driving while visibly impaired.

Mitzi Nelson, 25, has been ordered to spend 45 days in prison and pay $925 in fines after violating her parole and driving under the influence, according to the Daily Tribune. Nelson was caught driving with an open intoxicant on New Year's Day and police report that she was visibly impaired at the time of arrest. 

Nelson received prominent media attention back in June 2015, when she was banned from owning a cellphone for two years after striking and killing a bicyclist while texting and driving. Nelson hit 35-year-old mother of two, Jill Byelich, who was wearing a reflective vest and riding in the bicycle lane.

Prosecutors said that the accident was completely avoidable. Nelson was distracted by her phone and was not paying attention to the road at the time of the accident.

Nelson was sentenced to six months jail time and had to pay $15,600 in fines, speak to 20 driver’s education classes on the dangers of distracted driving, and perform 150 hours of community service. She also received the unorthodox punishment of being banned from owning or using a cellular device for two years. 

Byelich’s widowed husband, Jordan, came up with the idea for the cellphone ban, saying that owning a cellphone is a privilege, not a right. 

"I don't think she has a right to have a cellphone," said Judge Stewart McDonald, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I think it's a privilege."

In what lawyers saw as a stunning show of compassion, Jordan acknowledged that Nelson was remorseful for her actions and hugged her before she left the courtroom.

Nelson's lawyer, Mike Nichols, says that he was especially struck by Jordan's empathy.

"Jordan gave Mitzi a hug," he said to the Free Press. "That's what it's all about."

After the trial, Jordan said that he was happy the cellphone ban was enforced and that it will help him and his family work through their grief, according to The Daily Mail.

"Myself, my children, my family -- I don't want to use the phrase 'move' on because I don't think there'll ever be a moving on from this tragic and most challenging last 9 months ... but we're going to do the best that we can."

Jordan has not yet publicly commented on Nelson's violation of parole.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, Daily Mail, Daily Tribune / Photo Credit: Mitzi Nelson/MySpace via Daily Mail

Popular Video