Motorcycle Accident Victim Upset Over Plea

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CHARLOTTE (WILX)-- A woman who was severely injured in a motorcycle accident last fall learned Friday the driver who hit her will not face a jury.

22-year-old Zachary Bowden plead "no contest" to reckless driving and causing injury. Bowden faces two felony charges for hitting motorcyclist, Loreen Wickens at 90 miles-per-hour and driving off.

"I would have rather had him own up to his responsibility with a guilty plea," said Wickens.

On Friday, Wickens watched Bowden make his plea as she sat confined to her wheelchair. But Wickens didn't have to face Bowden alone. More than thirty bikers sat in the courtroom, lending her their support.

"I wish it would've went to a jury. I wish he would've manned up and said yes I did this. Then I wish he would've showed some remorse," said Sandra Ciba, a friend and fellow biker.

Describing the accident, Wickens says the hit broke more than thirty bones, punctured a lung, and if she hadn't been wearing a helmet, she'd be dead. The driver never slowed down.

"I looked to the right and a car was coming sideways out of the ditch at me. I tried to gun the bike, but he connected with me. Then he accelerated even more," said Wickens.

Bowden faces up to 7 1/2 years in jail for reckless driving and leaving the scene of the crime.

"He regrets his action that took place that night. Mr. Bowden's actions were not intentional, and not specifically directed at the victim," said Timothy Havis, Bowden's attorney.

Bowden will be sentenced on May 9th in front of Judge Cunningham in Eaton County.

"The one thing I know is I'm going home tonight and he's not," said Wickens.

Wickens will walk again, but more than anything she wants to get back on the road. Riding motorcycles is her passion.

"I love to ride and I will be back on my bike again, I will."

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