LETTER | A $42 fine for a man's life? Driver who killed bicyclist gets off easy

No felony charge in bicyclist's death in Kirkland

A man who police say struck and killed a bicyclist in Kirkland on July 22 will not face felony criminal charges, according to Kirkland police.

Although Nicholas N. Natale hit cyclist John Przychodzen after swerving onto the shoulder in his pickup, he did not commit a crime, said Detective Allan O'Neill.

Natale, who was 18 at the time of the accident, was issued an infraction for an unsafe lane change in the 8600 block of Northeast Juanita Drive. He swerved to avoid hitting an oncoming car, police said.

"It was a terrible accident, and it is unfortunate that someone lost their life," O'Neill said.

The Seattle Times

Driver fined $42 in collision that killed Kirkland bicyclist

An 18-year-old driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in July won't face charges in connection with the man's death -- only a $42 fine for changing lanes unsafely.

The family of the victim is filing a lawsuit against the driver, saying the teen might have been texting at the time of the collision in Kirkland, said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Gary Horcher.

KiroTV

Dear Editor:

I have a hard time believing that this would be a much tougher fine/jail time if the guy had just been walking instead of biking. I feel this is a slap in the poor family’s face. Where are the 3rd degree manslaughter charges or something?

All of the cyclists hit outside of Kirkland seem to have much higher visibility than this incident of injustice. I don’t know the man or his family but I feel the need to say this just doesn’t seem right!

Something needs to happen with Juanita drive people passing in oncoming traffic and constant craziness ensuing very frequently.

Kelly Lyon-King

Kirkland resident