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Excavator convicted for crash that killed cyclist

Last month, a Boulder County jury convicted Christopher Loven, a dump truck driver of caress driving in connection with the death of a 73-year-old Boulder man who had been riding a bicycle. According to an investigation by the Colorado State Patrol, Loven had been driving a dump truck hauling a trailer with construction equipment when the accident occurred. He apparently turned left to go south when he struck the other man, who was headed east.

The reported said that Loven was driving about 20 miles per hour during the turn, while the other man was cycling at between 25 and 35 miles per hour. Loven, who works as an excavator, testified at trial that he had just finished work at a job site and was taking his daughter home for the weekend in the dump truck.

A detour apparently forced him to go by a different route in order to get home. Loven said he was aware the area was frequented by bicyclists, but since it was a Friday he wasn't expected much bicycle traffic. The accident itself occurred at an intersection where there was a lot of foliage.

Loven's attorney argued at trial that his driving did not constitute recklessness, but the six-person jury disagreed. Careless driving resulting in death is the lowest criminal charge that can be imposed in an accident that kills a person. Still, the 47-year-old faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine in the case.

It isn't clear whether the family in the case will be filing a civil wrongful death suit.

Source: The Daily Camera, "Boulder County jury: Christopher Loven guilty of careless driving resulting in death," Erica Meltzer, March 8, 2013

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