Hit-and-run driver gets 3+ years in prison, probation

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Lake Oswego woman involved in a hit-and-run that left a bicyclist seriously injured was sentenced Friday to 40 months in prison and three years probation, with credit for time served and good behavior.

Miriam Clinton has also lost her drivers license - it's been suspended for five years. She pleaded guilty a few weeks ago to charges of third-degree assault, felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

Before the judge handed down the sentence, he told the court he had received 10 letters of support for Clinton from her family and friends. They begged him not to send her to prison, but the judge decided that's where she should go.

The trouble for Clinton began Aug. 16.

Henry Schmidt was bicycling home that day from his job when Clinton hit him. Schmidt was wearing a helmet, but his leg was broken in several places, his spleen was lacerated, he suffered three minor spine fractures and he had a mild concussion.

Two days later, KATU Reporter Hillary Lake was at the scene of the crash, which happened on Southwest Barbur Boulevard, and found a piece of evidence that led police to identify the car that hit Schmidt. A retired mechanic who was working on Clinton's car saw news reports about the accident, and the description of the vehicle, and called police. Clinton ended up turning herself in.

In court on Friday, Clinton sobbed while listening to Schmidt's mother, Kathi Sweet, talk about what it was like to get the call that her son (pictured below in his hospital bed) had been badly injured. His mother lives in Los Angeles and flew to Portland for the sentencing.

"This one decision to drive after a night of drinking has ripple effects that will affect my family forever," Sweet said. "I think every day about the other mothers whose children were injured or taken from them by others' senseless acts."

Sweet did, however, tell Clinton that she hopes prison will help turn her around.

"No one wishes you more success than I do," Sweet told Clinton before finishing her statement to the court.

Before her sentencing, Clinton told the court "I should not have gotten into the car that night." And as she was handcuffed to be taken away, she told her family, who was sobbing in court, "I love you guys."

KATU Reporter Hillary Lake live-tweeted the sentencing. Here are a few of her tweets from court:

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