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No bail set in fatal bicycle accident

Bicycle riders are especially vulnerable on the road since they are much smaller and more exposed than most cars. As a result, it’s up to drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and account for the fact that they do share the road with bicycles. Sadly, one man lost his life in a serious bicycle accident late last year in Santa Cruz, California, and now there are doubts as to whether or not the driver that caused the fatal incident will even face trial.

Despite the fact that the fatal bicycle accident case will not be reviewed by the superior court judge and attorneys in a pretrial discussion for weeks, the family of the 40-year-old man that was killed in the incident has already filed a lawsuit against the driver. The automaker of the car that the defendant was driving also faces a civil lawsuit from the victim’s family.

The defendant in the case faces misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges for striking and killing the bicycle rider in November 2013, but will not have to post bail since the superior court judge decided that he does not pose a threat to the public. The charge against the defendant is not attached to a set bail amount, so the prosecutor on the case recommended it be set at $25,000. Given that neither alcohol nor drugs seemed to have played a role in the incident, however, the defense attorney on the case argued that bail was unnecessary.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. If the case does go to trial and he is found guilty, the defendant may be sentenced to one year in jail. The incident apparently occurred when the defendant lost consciousness while driving and struck the bicycle rider.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Tesla driver enters not guilty plea in fatal highway 1 bike crash,” Calvin Men, Feb. 24, 2014

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