Clinton Lovelace, the apparently loaded driver who ran over a pack of ten motorcycles on State Road 151 near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on May 31, 2012 was sentenced today to serve eight years in prison.
He will serve consecutive terms of three years each for the two bikers he killed and an additional two years for the other misery he caused. The two dead men were Daniel Winsemius of Twin Lake, Michigan and Douglas Yonkers of Muskegon, Michigan. After he is released Lovelace will spend seven more years on probation.
Lovelace pled guilty last September to two counts of homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle and three counts of reckless injury. The prosecutor, Fond du Lac County Deputy District Attorney Dennis Krueger, asked Judge Gary Sharpe to sentence Lovelace to 20 years.
Muskegon Motorcycle Gang
The ten bikes carried a dozen people associated with a riding club called the Muskegon Motorcycle Gang. The twelve were on the club’s annual “Bridge Run.”
The group had taken a ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee. The plan was to ride north to the Mackinac Bridge then south back home through most of Michigan.
The pack was about 70 miles into Wisconsin when Lovelace, travelling in the opposite direction, suddenly swerved into the pack. A police report said “the vehicle’s crossing wasn’t a slow gradual movement, it was almost like it jerked over the centerline striking the motorcycles.”
Eric “Ric” VanDam was at the front of the pack. Lovelace struck him in the left saddlebag. VanDam lost a leg and is now confined to a wheelchair. Winsemius and Yonkers were riding behind VanDam. Winsemius died at the scene. Yonkers died a week later. Lovelace struck all ten bikes and injured ten of the twelve riders.
Lovelace was injured in the crash and hospitalized. Nurses found two syringes and multiple doses of blotter acid in his clothes. His blood contained traces of marijuana and oxycodone. He told police he took Adderall and Xanax daily.
He also told police he couldn’t remember the crash or anything else about that morning.
There were no mechanical problems with his car and he initially pled not guilty.
This morning the courtroom was filled with survivors of the crash, family members and bikers from around Wisconsin. Several survivors of the tragedy told the judge they had been sentenced to “life sentences.”