PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Panhandle man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing a bicyclist while he was driving drunk.
An Escambia County judge sentenced 29-year-old Ryan Welch on Tuesday. He was convicted of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash with a fatality.
Authorities say Welch hit Robert Bell Jr. in the early morning hours of April last year. He then drove two blocks, stopped to remove the bent bicycle from the undercarriage of his car and took off.
Welch's attorney said he didn't know he had hit a person, only a bike.
The Pensacola News Journal reports that Welch had been out of prison for less than six months when he hit Bell. In October 2007, Welch was convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury and escaping from a work-release facility.