Michael Richey, 46, of Modesto was killed in a Stanislaus County bicycle versus SUV accident on Sept. 30, the Modesto Bee reports. The SUV’s driver, Craig Kyle Nelson, 26, was reportedly arrested on suspicion of murder, driving under the influence, being under the influence of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license. Even initial investigations by police officers yielded enough evidence of drug use, which led to the murder charge.
California Highway Patrol officials said the fatal bicycle accident occurred when Richey was riding his bike east on Milnes Road on the road’s dirt shoulder. Modesto resident Nelson was spotted by witnesses driving erratically in his white 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee east on Milnes. CHP officials said Nelson drove the SUV on to the road’s shoulder where he hit Richey’s bicycle from behind. The impact from the crash threw Richey 50 feet from his bike.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Michael Richey for their heartbreaking loss.
I trust the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office will move ahead with all the charges and that Nelson is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is criminally responsible for the fatal injuries he caused to Richey and should be held financially responsible to the family of Michael Richey. Nelson’s negligence and callous disregard for the law and the safety of Richey has caused them an irreparable loss.
I’d urge Michael Richey’s family members to consult with a reputed California bicycle accident attorney, who has a great deal of experience with wrongful death lawsuits. A skilled personal injury lawyer will also look into whether the configuration of the street was safe for bicyclists. Based on this story, it appears that there was no bike lane on the road. Richey was riding his bike on a dirt shoulder. Was there a dangerous condition that caused or contributed to this accident? If it is discovered that a dangerous condition on that roadway was a factor in this accident, the government agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could also be held responsible. Please remember that any claim filed against a government agency in California must be filed within six months of the accident.