Bluffton woman faces DUI, leaving the scene of an accident charges in death of bicyclist

Kimberley Slater Mischik
Kimberley Slater Mischik

A 53-year-old Bluffton man scheduled to stand trial in October for a 2009 shooting was killed Thursday night after being struck on his bicycle by a driver accused of being drunk and leaving the accident scene.

Kimberley Slater Mischik, 35, of St. Simons Drive in the Island West community, was charged with felony driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a traffic collision causing death. Mischik and her husband, George, operate Fresh Produce clothing store at Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head Island.

At about 10:45 p.m., Bluffton police received a call about the wreck and found the body of Buck Island Road resident Eddie Kinlaw, 53, in a ditch alongside that road. His bike was found nearby, but the vehicle involved in the accident was gone, according to a news release Friday.

Kinlaw was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses told police that a silver GMC Yukon was traveling north on Buck Island Road, and the bicyclist also was going north along the shoulder when he was hit by the SUV in front of 353 Buck Island Road.

After striking Kinlaw, Mischik drove to a home on Pinecrest Circle about three and a half miles from the accident scene and then drove off, according to an arrest warrant.

Lt. Bryan Norberg said one of Mischik's relatives later called police and said Mischik had been involved in an accident. Norberg said officers later linked physical evidence from the scene to Mischik's vehicle. He said he did not know what type of evidence had been collected, adding that the investigation continues.

Norberg said he did not know whether Kinlaw was wearing a helmet or reflective clothing.Police collected blood samples from Mischik and sent them to a lab to determine her blood alcohol level. Norberg said it could take a month or longer for the results.

If convicted, she faces a mandatory prison term of one year and as many as 25 years, as well as a fine of $10,000 to $25,000 for each count.

Kinlaw had been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in May 2009. He was scheduled to be tried Oct. 25.

He is accused of shooting his cousin, Chester Kinlaw, four times at close range at a Bluffton baseball park, paralyzing him. Witnesses told police the two were arguing over family issues at the Sam Bennett Sport Complex on Buck Island Road. Eddie Kinlaw pulled a .38 revolver and shot his cousin -- twice in the stomach, once in the arm and once in the lag, according to police reports.

Eddie Kinlaw then rode off on his moped, witnesses told police. He was arrested a few hours later at his home, police said.

No one answered the door at Kinlaw's residence Friday and efforts to reach his relatives and Mischik's were not successful.