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Drunk Driver Who Hit Students Gets 25-39 Months in Prison

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RALEIGH (AP) — A 28-year-old man who wasdrunk when his carstruck three children standing on a street corner was sentenced to25 months to 39 months in prison after pleading guilty to assaultwith a deadly weapon.

William Bradford Rice III, who was sentenced Monday, wasdrivinga car that struck Frank Nicholson, 16, his sister Laura and theirfriend Blake Schlukbier on a street corner Sept. 25. Laura andBlake suffered minor injuries, but Frank was in a coma for twomonths, and now is in a wheelchair.

Police said Rice's car was traveling about 35 mph when itbrushed against Laura and Blake and struck Frank. It picked upspeed, hitting some signs and crashed into a tree at about 55 mph,the police report said.

A blood-alcohol test taken hours after the accident produced a.222 reading, nearly three times the legal limit of .08,authorities said.

Court records show Rice previously was arrested three times forDUI, a misdemeanor. He was convicted once, one count was reduced toreckless driving, and another was dismissed, the records showed.

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