A 19-year-old woman who admitted to exchanging text messages while she crashed into and killed a bicyclist in Kimberly will appear in court Tuesday on a felony homicide charge.
PaKou Xiong hit James Weiss shortly after midnight on July 28, on Kimberly Ave., as he pedaled eastbound within two to three feet of the curb, according to the criminal complaint. Xiong told police she was looking at her cell phone and driving and did not see the bicyclist, and the records from her phone show a series of text messages sent and received from 12:08 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., coinciding with the time of the crash.
A witness reported seeing Xion’s red Toyota Camry drift to the right, then sparks flying from the passenger area of the vehicle.
Weiss, the 46-year-old manager of the Liberty Hall Banquet and Conference Center, suffered head injuries. The complaint said he had a front light on his bicycle, as well as a red reflector.
Prosecutors in Outagamie County charged Xiong with homicide by negligent use of a vehicle, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The woman from Little Chute has become the fifth motorist prosecuted in Wisconsin for killing a bicyclist in 2012, a year in which 10 bicyclists died in roadway crashes involving motor vehicles. Cases are pending against the drivers who crashed into Tammy Gass, Troy Tousey and Robert Forbes. The prosecution of Archie Van Wormer, in the death of Kirk Cartwright, was suspended because Van Wormer was found to be not competent for trial.