The woman who plowed into bump-outs this summer on Main Avenue, sending four people to the hospital, pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence of alcohol and four counts of reckless endangerment.
A sentencing hearing for Megan Wilmot, 29, of Durango is set for 3 p.m. March 2 before La Plata County Judge Anne Woods. The plea agreement caps jail time for Wilmot at 45 days.
The crash occurred at 9:35 p.m. Sept. 16 in the 900 block of Main Avenue. It took out the bump-out in front of Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant and the Maria’s Bookshop bump-out.
The standard penalty for a first DUI offense is 48 to 96 hours of community service, a fine of $600 to $1,000, court costs, two years of probation, a nine-month driver’s license suspension, and alcohol and drug-education classes.
The penalty for reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor, is typically up to six months in jail and a fine of between $50 and $750. Wilmot entered a plea agreement with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
After the crash, four people eating dinner at Tequila’s were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center. The most serious injury appeared to be a man with a broken leg. However, it was later determined the man’s leg was not broken.
Wilmot was driving a black Nissan Altima with New Jersey license plates north on Main Avenue when she crashed through the bump-outs.
She was initially arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment, four counts of misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, criminal attempt (hit and run) and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
Witnesses said Wilmot appeared to be trying to flee the scene of the crash, which is why she was arrested on suspicion of attempted hit and run.
“They observed her revving her engine trying to get over the debris of the accident, and the witnesses actually removed her from the vehicle so that she could not leave,” city spokesman Mitchell Carter told The Durango Herald a day after the crash.
Within weeks of the incident, the city of Durango and the Business Improvement District announced bump-outs would be coming down at the beginning of November 2020 and plans would be made to make the bump-outs safer when they returned in spring 2021.
The city plans to place concrete planters on Main Avenue this spring to provide added protection to bump-outs.
Tim Walsworth, director of the Durango Business Improvement District, has said the bump-out program has proved overwhelmingly successful for restaurateurs by giving them added tables when indoor dining was confined because of public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bump-outs, which are set to return to Main Avenue on March 15, also were popular with customers.