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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Oroville teen given six years for DUI with serious injuries

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  • Melissa Hetherwick is slowly recovering from major injuries she sustained February 24 when 18-year-old Shaina Appleyard chose to breathe fumes from an air dusting spray, known as “huffing, ” while driving down Montgomery Street in Oroville. Appleyard also seriously hurt a 15 and 16-year-old who were sitting on a park bench when she drove her vehicle into them, causing the 16-year-old to fly through a plate glass window of a business. Appleyard's attorney, Grady Davis asked Judge Steven Howell to put Appleyard on probation but given the severity of the injuries, Judge Howell declined. Appleyard will serve six years, four months in state prison which includes 16 months for the DUI she pled no contest to in June. She was also ordered to pay restitution to Hetherwick, in the amount of $126,050. Appleyard had passed out while driving at a high rate of speed in downtown Oroville with four victims in her car before hitting Hetherwick's vehicle and the two people sitting on the bench. Hetherwick's four-year-old daughter was uninjured. Hetherwick was pregnant at the time and gave birth to a daughter in June. Hetherwick was able to describe what the accident had done to impact her life and Appleyard read a prepared statement in which she said she hoped to be placed into a rehabilitation program. She must serve 85 percent of her sentence before being eligible for release.
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