Conflicting Evidence in Fatal Bike Crash: Police

Investigators recommend filing misdemeanor negligence charges against driver who struck cyclist

By Paul Krueger and Lauren Steussy
|  Monday, Jun 4, 2012  |  Updated 8:48 PM PDT
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Conflicting Evidence in Fatal Bike Crash: Police

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Police have completed investigations of two fatal bicycle collisions in San Diego earlier this year.

Investigators from the San Diego Police Department asked prosecutors to file misdemeanor negligence charges against a driver who struck cyclist Charles Raymond Gilbreth in April on Montezuma Road.

The driver in that collision passed a bus, which was traveling in the right-hand lane. The driver moved back into the right-hand lane but overshot the lane and hit Gilbreth in the bike lane.

The driver in that collision is not in custody and has not yet been charged. There was no evidence of gross negligence either, said Police Lieutenant Rick O'Hanlon.

But police said there is conflicting evidence in the March 22 death of another cyclist, David Ortiz, on Balboa Avenue.

A detective at the time of the collision said the man was struck by a Ford expedition, then rolled and was hit by two other cars in different lanes. The last car ended up on top of the bicyclist's body.

Balboa Ave. does not have a bike lane; just three travel lanes and a transition lane. The man was wearing a helmet.

Both the driver and the cyclist share responsibility for that death O'Hanlon said. The City Attorney will decide whether or not to file charges against the driver.

O'Hanlon said drugs and alcohol were not a factor in either collision and there's no evidence that those motorists were distracted when they hit the bicyclists.
 

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