Harvell pleads guilty

Plea agreement reached in case involving vehicle hitting motorcyclists

MARSHALL — The woman charged in connection with a June crash that injured three motorcyclists has pleaded guilty to charges including two counts of felony criminal vehicular operation. A Lyon County District Court judge said Tamara Lee Harvell, 55, would be taken into custody at the Lyon County Jail, pending sentencing later this week.

At a hearing Tuesday morning, attorneys said a plea agreement had been reached in Harvell’s case. Harvell pleaded guilty to two counts of felony criminal vehicular operation, one count of gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, second degree driving while impaired, and two counts of child endangerment. In response to questions from the court, Harvell said she was driving on Minnesota Highway 23 when her car struck a motorcycle waiting in the left turn lane at the intersection of Highway 23 and Minnesota Highway 19 in Marshall. Harvell said she was traveling at highway speed at the time of the collision.

In all, three motorcyclists were stopped in the turn lane, and all three were injured in the crash. The court said one motorcyclist, Daniel Bruce Flynn, lost a leg in the crash. A second motorcyclist, Wayne Thomas Patterson II, received injuries requiring multiple surgeries, and later had to have a leg amputated, the court said.

When asked by the court, Harvell also affirmed that she had two grandchildren, then ages 10 and 4, with her in the car at the time of the crash, and that a blood alcohol test showed she had an alcohol level of .224.

The court accepted Harvell’s guilty pleas. District Court Judge Leland Bush said she would be taken into custody at the Lyon County Jail on Tuesday, pending sentencing. Bush said he had some questions regarding a pre-sentencing investigation for Harvell and continued the hearing to Thursday afternoon.

Bush said he would consider a request for the crash victims — all Michigan residents — to appear at Harvell’s sentencing hearing by interactive television, but he wasn’t approving the ITV appearances at this time.