Michael Cline, the accused, is claiming the "I didn't see him" defense. It's nice to see that the city isn't buying that as an excuse!
Driver charged in cyclist's deathThursday, January 29, 2009 3:17 AMTHE COLUMBUS DISPATCHA motorist who struck and killed a bicyclist on Alum Creek Drive last summer has been charged with vehicular homicide.
Michael R. Cline, 36, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Franklin County Municipal Court on Friday.
Police accuse him of being negligent on Aug. 21 when he struck and killed Tracey Corbin, 46, a South Side man who had been riding his bicycle on Alum Creek near Watkins Road.
Corbin's family said he was a safety-conscious cyclist who pedaled to and from his job off Groveport Road. They said his bicycle had lights, and he wore a safety vest.
Assistant City Prosecutor Ian Overking said accident-investigation detectives gathered evidence for several months before filing the misdemeanor charge against Cline, who lives at 2506 Hoose Dr. on the Far West Side.
Although Corbin's bicycle lights did not work after the collision, police found witnesses who said they had been flashing before the crash. Corbin had been wearing his luminescent vest, Overking said.
"The bicyclist was doing everything he should have done. Given the bicyclist's conduct, I would say that the defendant was negligent, just in not observing the bicyclist operating in front of his car," he said.
Cline and Corbin had been headed south when Corbin was struck from behind at 5:15 a.m., police said.
"When you come down through Alum Creek with all these trucks and all the lights, I didn't see this guy," Cline said in a 911 call.
"He initially said that he thought it was a deer that he hit," Overking said yesterday.
Overking said he will talk with Cline's attorney, Ralph Kerns, at the Friday hearing to "try to get an idea for where the case is headed."
Kerns did not reply to a request for a comment yesterday.