The drunk driver who wrecked a Lexington County MP’s vehicle and injured him so badly he ended his career was convicted Tuesday after pleading guilty to drunk driving and have caused serious bodily harm.
Circuit Court Judge R. Ferrell Cothran, Jr. sentenced Michael Jordan Nichols, 38, who lived in Irmo, to eight years in prison followed by five years probation.
In a statement, 11th Circuit deputy attorney Todd Wagoner, who pursued the case, said: âWhile we appreciate that Mr. Nichols has accepted responsibility for his actions, we can only hope that this tragic event will convince others to be responsible by choosing not to drive. blind drunk. There are many options available, especially during the holiday season, such as Uber, Lyft, taxi services, and designated drivers.
On June 8, 2019, Nichols was driving his Chevy Silverado in the wrong lane and accelerating on South Lake Drive near Red Bank, prosecutors said. So-Lexington Deputy Roy Hall was heading to the sheriff’s department headquarters to start a shift. Nichols crashed into Hall’s Police SUV head first, destroying the front end and cabin. Nichols’ truck was also destroyed, according to photos.
It took emergency crews nearly 30 minutes to extract Hall from his SUV, prosecutors said. Nichols was tested and had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, “indicating significant impairment.”
Hall suffered pelvic fractures and a dislocated femur that required surgery.
At the sentencing hearing, Hall and his wife addressed the judge and described how their lives and the lives of their four children were forever changed. Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon told the judge the wreckage ended Hall’s career, resulting in a huge loss for the sheriff’s department.
Serve & Connect, a police and community support organization, launched a fundraiser for Hall after the sinking.
Nichols is imprisoned at Kirkland Correctional Facility near Broad River Road in Colombia. Before the sinking, Nichols had been convicted of assault twice, prosecutors said.