Distracted driver gets jail

HOUGHTON — A Calumet man who hit two Hancock residents on motorcycle with his car in Osceola Township last July was sentenced to 30 days in jail Friday.

Justin Beigh, 29, was sentenced in 97th District Court for a moving violation causing serious impairment of a body function to another person, a 93-day misdemeanor.

He must pay $10,622 in restitution and serve 200 hours of community service.

He also received two years of probation.

On July 7, Beigh was driving south on U.S. 41 near Golf Course Road in Oceola Township. Distracted by his cell phone, he had failed to notice a vehicle stopped in front of him.

Swerving to avoid the vehicle, he collided head-on with a motorcycle carrying John and Marnieann Polkky of Hancock.

Marnieann Polkky suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash. Her left leg was amputated; more surgeries were also performed on her right ankle.

She declined to comment on the sentencing Friday afternoon, except to request the statistics of accidents caused by drivers distracted by activities like texting while operating a motor vehicle:

About 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2016, 3,450 people were killed.