By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - A Norway man will serve a minimum of two years in prison for his involvement in a crash that left an Iron Mountain woman seriously injured.
Ryan Erickson, left, standing beside his attorney, Dan Anderson, appears for sentencing for driving while license suspended causing serious injury.
Lisa M. Hoffmann/Daily News Photo
Ryan Erickson, 33, appeared for sentencing on Tuesday for driving while license suspended causing serious injury and habitual offender, second.
The charges stem from an Oct. 6, 2011 incident which injured Jeannie Gilbertson.
Defense attorney Dan Anderson offered his gratitude to the court for allowing his client to generate revenue to support his family and pay his debts through seasonal employment.
And noted he is sorry Gilbertson had to go through what she did.
"It was a wake up call for my client. He took it like a man and worked as a roofer for the summer, and I respectfully ask the court to follow through with the recommendations," Anderson said. "My client understands he has to better himself while in prison."
A minimum prison sentence of two months was recommended for the defendant during a Cobbs hearing held earlier this year.
Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Brule said the defendant's actions on Oct. 6 of last year were disregard for the law.
She said if he would not have been driving while his license was suspended, this accident would not have happened. Brule said this was his fourth prosecution for this type of offense.
"To make matters worse, he doesn't stop, drives back to his residence and files a false police report for a car versus
deer accident at a different location," Brule said. "He didn't realize he hit a person and was in unusual distress of hitting a deer."
Brule said Erickson's vehicle had a dent in the windshield and the victim's hair was found in it at the body shop.
"Her back injury is permanent, she can't walk near her home with her dog. He will have an end day to this, and she will not," Brule said. "He deserves to be punished. This type of behavior that results in severe injury and disregard for the law is not acceptable."
During sentencing, Erickson apologized to the victim, his family and everyone involved.
He thanked the court for extending his sentencing for the summer to fulfill his financial obligations.
"I never intended to hurt anybody," he said. "I did and I've got to handle it."
The accident in which Erickson was charged with a felony occurred at approximately 7:05 p.m. Oct. 6 on West C Street near Forest Street.
According to the felony complaint, Erickson struck Jeannie Gilbertson with his vehicle on Oct. 6, 2011. She suffered a fractured leg, two fractured vertebrae, and an injury to her sternum.
Judge Mary B. Barglind noted the victim suffered severely, and the action Erickson took was criminal in nature.
"You acted very badly on the day of this incident. Clearly, you didn't know it was a deer, but you had to be suspicious," she said. "In either event, you acted more out of concern for yourself than for your fellow human being who laid injured and helpless on the street. So prove to us you are truly sorry, after fulfilling your sentence, be a good productive father, husband and member of society."
Erickson was sentenced to two years minimum to 90 months maximum in prison.
Due to the pending civil suit, restitution remains open.
Erickson was previously convicted of breaking and entering a building on Sept. 18, 2006.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is email@example.com