Kenmore driver who killed Kirkland bicyclist could face charges
By PEYTON WHITELY
Kirkland Reporter Reporter
August 25, 2011 · 5:38 PM
A Kirkland Police investigation into a fatal bicycle accident on Juanita Drive last month has been referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for the possible filing of charges.
It may be several weeks before the case is reviewed and a decision is made on whether to file a charge or what types of charges may be brought, said a spokesman for the prosecutor.
The accident took place July 22 as John Przychodzen, 49, was riding northbound along the shoulder of Juanita Drive Northeast near 86th Avenue Northeast, police reported.
Pryzychodzen, who had moved to Kirkland from Glastonbury, Conn., about eight months earlier, was riding his bike home from work when he was struck about 3:45 p.m., said family members.
Investigators and witnesses determined that Przychodzen was struck from behind by a truck driven by an 18-year-old man who hit the bicycle. Emergency workers were unable to revive Przychodzen.
The roadway at the accident scene is heavily used by bicyclists and is configured with a bike lane that's about six feet wide and marked by a painted stripe separating the lane from vehicles.
The roadway, however, also is used by thousands of vehicles daily and has limited visibility as the route makes a sweeping turn above Lake Washington. The route once was part of the main roadway around Lake Washington and formed part of the primary highway between the Eastside and Seattle before the Mercer Island Floating Bridge was completed in 1940.
Kirkland Police now have completed their investigation and forwarded the results to the prosecutor's office, said Det. Allan O'Neill on Tuesday.
Chris Davis, of the Davis Law Group, which was hired by Przychodzen's family to represent their interests, said his firm has conducted its own investigation of the fatality, which included interviewing witnesses.
"It was a clear case of distracted driving," said Davis, based on statements made by those witnesses. "The kid was possibly using a cellphone."
The driver, who worked for a property-maintenance company, has hired a criminal-defense attorney and Davis said his firm has been unable to interview him.
The driver, who lives in Kenmore, has one previous traffic citation, according to public records. In that incident, he was cited by Kenmore Police on May 26, 2010, for driving 34 mph in a 25-mph zone on Northeast 155th Place. The driver paid a $124 fine on June 15, 2010, in Shoreline District Court and the case was closed.
The Kirkland Reporter does not normally identify suspects in criminal investigations before they are charged.Contact Kirkland Reporter Reporter Peyton Whitely at email@example.com or 425-822-9166, ext. 5052.