Chesco man gets 7 1/2- to 16-year term in fatal hit-run

Posted: September 28, 2012

A Chester County man will serve at least seven and a half years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a Downingtown father.

Michael J. Bristow, 40, of West Chester, was traveling on Route 322 on Feb. 5 after drinking at a Super Bowl party, when he struck a motorcycle driven by 26-year-old Michael Orsini. He then fled the scene, police said.

Orsini, the father of a toddler and part-time student at West Chester University, died two days later from his injuries.

Bristow pleaded guilty to a homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with evidence.

He was sentenced to seven and half to 16 years on Tuesday, according to the District Attorney Thomas Hogan, who said Bristow eventually came in and confessed,

"This is a tragedy for the victim's family," said Hogan. "They will never see their son, brother, father again."

Bristow had a number of criminal convictions including drunken driving and drug offenses. Police were able to trace car parts at the scene to the Chevrolet Cavalier driven by the defendant. He first told police he sold the car to a drug dealer and was unaware of the accident, police said.


Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149, mschaefer@phillynews.com or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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