Prosecutors in Santa Barbara County, California, apparently agreed to change vehicular manslaughter charges against a truck driver to “trespass by a motor vehicle” so he won't lose his driver's license.
Truck driver Marcos Almaguer was charged in the January 2006 death of UC Santa Barbara triathlete Kendra Payne on a twisting road near Goleta. The Daily Nexus reports Payne was struck on a training ride with a teammate as they rounded a curve.
Payne's death is the impetus behind Assemblyman Pedro Nava introducing Assembly Bill 60, which would require that passing vehicles give bicycles at least three feet of clearance.
Assistant District Attorney Patrick McKinley told the Daily Nexus that Almaguer pleaded guilty to trespass by motor vehicle on Feb. 8. He was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and three year's probation. Almaguer has paid $8,000 to the Kendra Chiota Payne Memorial Fund at UCSB and was ordered to continue paying $100 monthly installments throughout his probation.
Originally charged with vehicular manslaughter, Almaguer's attorneys were looking for a deal that wouldn't have involved a driver's license suspension. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Meanwhile, Cyclelicious reports on the case of a DUI driver who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for hitting and killing a cyclist then driving off back in September in Palo Alto. At the time, the driver was high on methamphetamine and alcohol.