Former Eufaula city councilman Dan Kirby, 65, may have been found guilty last week of involuntary manslaughter by a federal jury in Muskogee, but his legal woes do not end there.
He still faces a civil lawsuit in connection with the death of Sheryl Bischel, 56, killed in a motorcycle accident on July 23, 2022.
_e suit was _led on Nov. 21, 2022 by Ricky L. Gragg of Wilburton, son of Bischel and administrator of her estate.
_e last activity in the civil case, in which the plainti seeks in excess of $75,000, took place on Jan. 5 when the case was assigned to District Judge Mike Hogan in McIntosh County District Court.
Stephanie Winesburg, Bischel’s daughter, said the family was waiting for the criminal case to be settled before continuing with the civil case.
_ursday, the day a r Kirby’s conviction, Winesburg said the civil case will proceed.
So far, there is nothing scheduled. Winesburg and other family members and friends attended the trial in Muskogee.
“We were there when he was found guilty, but he wasn’t arrested then. It felt good to know that there was a punishment for his actions. My mom has some justice. It took only 4-5 hours for them (the jury) to come out with the verdict,” she said.
Among those who attended were Winesburg, Bischel’s oldest daughter; Bischel’s mother, Sheyla Poulin and Sheyla’s husband Richard; Bischel’s aunt and uncle June and Bill Cecil; and friends Christine Riley, Fonda Robinson and Suzy Miskovsky.
“My mom paid the horrible price for trusting Dan to safely take her home. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. No one is above the law,” Winesburg said.
“_ere are no winners here. We will never have our mom back. She paid the price with her life. Dan should be held accountable for his actions. He won’t have to pay with his life. He will be out of prison and be able to grow old with his children. We don’t get that option.
“We felt a little bit of relief that he was held accountable and will hopefully learn from this and never make the same choice again. But it doesn’t bring her back.”
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Kirby was driving a 2003 Harley Davidson on which Bischel was a passenger when the accident occurred shortly before 10 p.m. _ve miles north of Eufaula on S.H. 150 in Fountainhead State Park.
“(_e vehicle) was making a le turn at a T intersection (and) drove wide right, departing the roadway,” the OHP report said.
Bischel, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the motorcycle and died the following day at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
Kirby, who was wearing a helmet, was not injured.
According to testimony in the criminal trial Kirby’s blood alcohol content was 0.028 that night, below the legal limit of 0.08.
_e OSBI toxicology analysis also found a combination of other chemicals in his system, including unspeci _ed amounts of amphetamine, marijuana, tramadol, oxycodone and a pair of anti-depressants — citalopram and trazodone.