Cyclist who survived deadly crash gives victim impact statement

Cyclist who survived deadly crash gave victim impact statement
Published: Feb. 11, 2015 at 4:03 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2015 at 4:09 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A cyclist seriously injured by a driver was given the opportunity to address the court prior to the man's sentencing for vehicular homicide and vehicular negligent injuring.

Daniel Morris was allowed to give a victim impact statement Wednesday morning. He spent almost a month in the hospital after he and his friend, Nathan Crowson, were hit by a car driven by Joseph Branch. The pair was riding bicycles on Perkins Road when they were hit. Crowson died in the crash.

Morris testified at the trial that because of the crash, he has constant memory problems.

"Everything hazy prior to the crash," he said. "My memory is like a computer with RAM & ROM. I can remember certain things, but it now has to be triggered."

He said before the accident, he would ride his bike for miles, skateboard, jump and do everything that is normally taken for granted. His pelvis was shattered in the crash.

Branch was convicted in October 2014 in the 2012 deadly wreck. After obtaining a new defense team, a motion for a new trial was filed, but it was withdrawn Wednesday. Judge Mike Erwin has set March 18 as the sentencing date for Branch.

Branch faces five to 30 years in prison for the Jan. 21, 2012 accident. Investigators said Branch had a blood alcohol level of .307 at the time of the crash, which is nearly four times the legal limit.

It took the jury less than an hour to reach its verdict.

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