Biker's death: City driver cleared in fatal accident
The driver of a Charlottesville City waste water truck will not be charged in the Monday, April 19, accident in which 23-year-old UVA grad student and bicyclist Matthew King was killed as he rode west on West Main Street.
The investigation, conducted by City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County police, Virginia State Police, and the Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney's office, concluded that King struck the truck as it turned right from West Main onto Fourth Street, according to a press release.
According to a City report, multiple witnesses testified that the truck driver, Ronnie Lorenzo Douglas, had activated the truck's right turn signal and wasn't speeding. King, witnesses said, was passing cars on the right before and during Douglas' attempted turn.
Douglas tested negative for drugs or alcohol, and although he lacked the specialized endorsement required to operate trucks carrying large amounts of liquid, the Commonwealth's Attorney ruled that the lack of that endorsement played no role in the accident. Douglas, who holds a valid commercial driver's license, has since received the state-required endorsement.
This Saturday, May 22, three days after a planned "Ride of Silence" through the streets of Charlottesville to honor King and others killed while riding, area advocacy groups are hosting a "Bike Summit" to discuss ways to make biking safer.
King, an avid athlete working on his PhD in math, spent his last morning volunteering at the Haven, the new resource center for the homeless on Market Street. That, says Kyle Redinger, owner of a fitness club King actively attended, offers insight into King's character.
"He gave everything he had," says Redinger, who operates Crossfit Charlottesville. "Anyone who knew him knew he lived life to the fullest."