Woman Gets Jail, Probation in Fatal Texting Crash

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A Dewitt woman who killed a mother of two in a texting while driving accident last year was sentenced to at least 90 days in jail on Wednesday.

Jordan Byelich said goodbye to the woman who killed his wife, leaving for her first night in jail.

"I don't think there's ever going to be a moving on from this, but we're going to do the best that we can to continue on with our lives," Jordan Byelich said.

Mitzi Nelson was driving down Howe Road in Watertown Township when she got distracted by her cell phone. She hit 35-year-old Jill Byelich, who was riding her bike on the shoulder. Prosecutors say Jill Byelich was wearing a helmet, reflective vest, and had lights on the front and back of her bike.

"In the blink of an eye, a moments carelessness, a life was taken, something I'm certain at 23 years of age Ms. Nelson will relive for the rest of her life," said Judge Stewart McDonald, Gratiot County.

Nelson was sentenced to at least 90 days in the Clinton County Jail.
She'll serve 30 days immediately, with the rest split up over holidays and the last 90 suspended.

"She'll sit alone in jail and think about not being with her family what a penalty is that," Gratiot said. "Well Ms. Byelich won't be with her family either, permanently."

During the two years Nelson is on probation, Judge McDonald says she can't have a cell phone.

"I don't think she has a right to have a cell phone I think it's a privilege and I think there was a breach of that privilege," the judge added.

While she's on probation she'll have to speak to Driver's Education students, something Nelson hopes will teach them to unplug behind the wheel.

"The remorse and regret I have is immeasurable, it has been very important for me that I stay focused and try to be the best form of myself as possible," Nelson said in court.

A message Jordan Byelich says is one way to honor his wife's memory.

"Get off the road get out of the way of others, they're driving, they're walking, on a bike or something else to understand that we all share the road," he said.

Investigators say Nelson was not drinking or on drugs at the time of the accident. She'll have to pay more than $15,000 in restitution to Byelich's family.