Driver in last year’s hit-and-run Seattle bicyclist fatality pleads guilty

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The motorist charged with killing Seattle bicycle rider Michael Wang last summer faces up to three years and five months in prison after pleading guilty to felony hit-and-run on Tuesday.

The man, Erlin Garcia-Reyes, 28, of Normandy Park was arrested last month in connection with a car crash into a service station on Greenwood Avenue last month. Police said that Garcia-Reyes already was a suspect in the hit-and-run before that crash.

The hit-and-run galvanized the Seattle bicycle community to increase its pressure for safer streets, especially those like the Dexter Avenue bicycle route where Wang was killed.

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The 44-year-old husband and father of two was riding his bicycle home from work at a global health nonprofit when he was struck by an SUV that turned left in front of him at Dexter and Thomas Street. The motorist stopped briefly, according to witnesses, then drove away.

The Seattle Times reported the guilty plea, saying that  Garcia-Reyes faces a prison term of 2 years-7 months to 3 years-5 months. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 10. A King County district attorney’s press release at Seattle Bike Blog says prosecutors will be seeking the maximum sentence.

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