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Fatal bicycle accident case ends in a plea deal

New Mexico is a state abounding with natural beauty often best enjoyed by a bicycle ride. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have often claimed the lives of innocent bicycle riders. Many of the victims of these bicycle accidents are minor children or young adults who use their bicycles to get around town. Since bicycles do not have many of the safety mechanisms available for cars, such accidents usually have serious, if not deadly, consequences for bicycle riders.

Cars are equipped with airbags and seat belts, which often help mitigate the impact and effects of a car accident. Bicycles do not have these safety features, so riders often suffer from serious injuries that often include traumatic brain and neck injuries, internal and external bleeding or even fractures. Such injuries in most cases need immediate and long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Injuries suffered in some bicycle accidents can even prove fatal to riders.

A recent example of one such fatal outcome is the death of a 25-year-old bicycle rider who was killed when a small truck driven by a University of New Mexico student struck him while he was riding to his sister's house from work in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The truck driver left the scene of the accident, but was eventually found and charged with vehicular homicide and other charges for allegedly striking and killing the cyclist and leaving the scene of the accident.

The accident investigation had also revealed that even though the driver's blood alcohol level was below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, after conducting standardized field sobriety tests police reported that the car smelled of marijuana. Under New Mexico law, vehicular homicide, including hit-and-run charges, attract a third-degree felony charges. The defendant in this case has pleaded no contest and will face consequences for his actions. A wrongful death lawsuit may be an option for the family members of the deceased bicyclist.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "Plea agreement in cyclist's death," July 29, 2015

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