Stephen Tecmire, 63, recently was found guilty of a felony after running over a bicyclist who had been riding in a Wheat Ridge bike lane, leaving the cyclist in quadriplegic condition.
Bicyclist Gary Suydam, 52, was riding eastbound on 26th Avenue using a designated bicycle lane on Jan. 27. He then attempted to cross Wadsworth Boulevard, proceeding with a green light.
As Suydam crossed, an oncoming driver made a left turn onto Wadsworth, cutting in front of Suydam, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. The bicyclist collided with the back of the vehicle and was knocked to the ground.
The driver of that vehicle, Chelsey Brewer, 38, immediately stopped and started on foot toward Suydam. But just as she approached him, another driver made the same turn, according to the DA’s office.
The second driver, Tecmire, “ran over Mr. Suydam as he lay injured in the roadway,” the DA’s office said in a news release. Both he and Brewer had made their turns on flashing yellow lights, which indicate that drivers can proceed only if their path is clear.
“I work in Golden but live in Denver and I was on my way home. I usually take 26th because there is bike lane most of the way. When I crossed Wadsworth there were no other cars next to me and I think the drivers just didn’t see me,” Suydam wrote in an email to Denverite.
Tecmire left the scene, police said.
He stopped his car “for a short period of time,” after the crash, “but left the scene before help arrived,” according to witness testimony.
Police found Tecmire at his home and found that he had been driving with improper registration stickers and without proof of insurance.
Suydam, the bicyclist, was critically injured and now uses a wheelchair, according to the DA’s office.
Tecmire, of Lakewood, was convicted on all counts in a two-day trial last month, including a felony charge of leaving the scene and two traffic offenses. He faces up to six years in prison and will be sentenced on Dec. 14.
Brewer pleaded guilty to failure to yield the right of way.
This post was updated with comment from Suydam. While the district attorney’s office said that he was riding in the crosswalk, Suydam said that he was properly crossing in the bike-lane alignment.