OUR VIEW: Thinking of Bella after avoidable accident took her young lifeA young girl has needlessly died in Mitchell and everyone — her family, her friends and those of us who never met her — is left to wonder how this terrible tragedy occurred and if there was anything that could have been done to prevent it.
A young girl has needlessly died in Mitchell and everyone — her family, her friends and those of us who never met her — is left to wonder how this terrible tragedy occurred and if there was anything that could have been done to prevent it.
Nine-year-old Iszabella “Bella” Morgan died when the vehicle in which she was riding was struck by a car driven by Michael Sedlmeier, 46, of Mitchell.
According to police, Sedlmeier was intoxicated at the time of the crash, with a .206 blood-alcohol level. The legal limit is .08.
Police say Sedlmeier fled when police attempted to stop him and was clocked driving 47 mph. When the crash occurred, the nearest cruiser was blocks behind Sedlmeier, so the chase hardly can be classified as “high speed.”
If all of the allegations and reports prove accurate, we agree that Sedlmeier — and Sedlmeier alone — is responsible for the death of the innocent girl.
We do not feel police did anything wrong in this case.
If convicted, this will be Sedlmeier’s third DUI, and it reinforces our belief that repeat DUI offenders should somehow be subjected to stiffer penalties and scrutiny when it comes to driving.
One DUI, however terrible, can still be a misunderstanding by the offending driver who may only be slightly over the legal driving limit.
By no means do we condone any DUI offense, but we would hope that a first-time offender would be willing to remedy the problem and take all measures to ensure it never will happen again.
Repeat DUI offenses are simply unforgivable and show a trend of carelessness that can result in tragedy. As always, we will continue to publish the names of DUI offenders and those who run from the police. Every now and again, we are asked to keep such things out of the newspaper, but we won’t.
These are very serious crimes with very serious consequences. Was Bella’s death avoidable? Certainly, and that’s why it’s so painful.
We urge readers to remember the young girl who died in this horrible mishap, and who was the subject of a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening at the corner of First and Duff. Her funeral will be held today. We have read that her many friends will remember her bright personality, her smile and her lovely curls. We have read that she was “the sweetest little girl.” Today, our thoughts are with Bella, her family and her friends.