Local News

Driver charged in fatal crash with bike

Posted June 4, 2008
Updated June 5, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The driver who state troopers said hit and killed a bicyclist in Orange County on Tuesday morning has been charged in that wreck. Ryan Idyle, 27, was booked into the Orange County Jail Wednesday afternoon.

He was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, wreckless driving to endanger, operating a vehicle with no insurance and driving left of center.

Idyle was driving his Honda Passport northbound on Pleasant Green Road when he swerved across the center line, hitting Clive Sweeney, 59, of Durham, state troopers said.

Idyle said he swerved to miss some deer in the road.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. Tuesday near the Ebenezer Church Road intersection, authorities said.

Neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in the wreck, the Highway Patrol determined.

94 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • sggoodri Jun 6, 2008

    The motorist's lack of insurance will also make it harder for the victim's family to collect damages in a wrongful death suit.

    The impatient anti-cyclists often make demands that cyclists pay for insurance in order to use the roadways. Ironically, in all my years studying cycling safety, the only fatalities I've heard of cyclists causing to others in the USA involved riding on sidewalks and greenways, not roadways.

    I am involved in activities that involve paying for insurance for cycling, but only to cover myself or a bike club for liability when we take other people out cycling on the roadways. The fees are miniscule. I actually teach traffic cycling through the League of American Bicyclists (LCI#1690) and the only way that the insurance company will cover the class is if we strictly teach the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles on roadways - no "pedestrians on wheels" behavior allowed, because this increases risk.

  • Rob E. Jun 5, 2008

    "they can have other administrative penalties such as long-term license suspension and major increase in insurance costs."

    Well, to be fair, insurance payments only go up if you pay them to begin with.

  • Rob E. Jun 5, 2008

    "wreckless driving to endanger, ... and driving left of center."

    These are moving violations. Obviously if he had Intentionally run someone over there would be much more severe penalties, but he's getting off this lightly because it was an accident. And this is just what he's charged with. He could very likely not be convicted of all of those offenses. But the fact remains that someone was killed who might not have been killed if the driver was in better control of their vehicle. That's for the courts to decide, but I wouldn't accept the fact that it was an accident as an excuse, otherwise it could be an excuse for any situation that you didn't want to take responsibility for. The point of these laws is to encourage people behave more responsibly. If they're not enforced, especially in extreme cases where fatalities result, the law loses whatever power it might have had to encourage responsible behavior.

  • amlebede Jun 5, 2008

    I think the Class I Misdemeanor manslaughter charge is unnecessary as it was an accident and no traffic laws were violated (driving without insurance is not related to driving itself). Although the charges are not that serious (a small fine, probation or community service for 1st time offender), they can have other administrative penalties such as long-term license suspension and major increase in insurance costs.

  • Rob E. Jun 5, 2008

    "was that an ill attempt at sarcasm?"

    Apparently, although I didn't think it was that ill. If you read my other posts on this topic, I think you'll find that I'm not actually an advocate of driving illegally. And when I talked about the hypothetical vehicle, I actually had a specific one in mind apart from the moped (although it does fit the bill), a non-motor vehicle that would a particularly good choice for this particular driver, given his present situation.

  • ShareTheRoad Jun 5, 2008

    "It'd be one thing if there was some alternate form of transportation: something cheaper than a car that didn't require insurance and was still legal on the roads, preferably something that was less likely to collide with deer and less likely to have the weight and speed to do serious harm to others if operated unwisely. Until someone invents something like that...."

    ever hear of a moped? aka liquor-cycle.... driving is a privledge, not a right. if drivers cant hold up their end of the deal (ie: following the law) they ought not be on the road.

  • ShareTheRoad Jun 5, 2008

    "Now don't go bringing his lack of insurance into it. That's really not fair. If you're out in the country you can't really get anywhere without driving, so it's unreasonable to expect someone to hang up their keys just because they can't afford insurance. It'd be one thing if there was some alternate form of transportation: something cheaper than a car that didn't require insurance and was still legal on the roads, preferably something that was less likely to collide with deer and less likely to have the weight and speed to do serious harm to others if operated unwisely. Until someone invents something like that, we really can't expect insurance requirements to keep people off of the roads."

    was that an ill attempt at sarcasm?

    why yes, officer, im drunk as a skunk but my friend lives way out here in the country. surely you cant expect me to abide by the law and not drive...

    surely i DO expect folks to abide by the law.

  • Rob E. Jun 5, 2008

    "man can pass all the laws they want to allow this, that or the other. But when crashes occur nature's laws can have very serious consequences.

    Bottom line for me: ride on all the highways you so desire. As I've said, I feel for you and I feel for the drivers who are also victimized."

    Well, I still don't think anyone is trying to legislate physics. They are simply trying to point out the need to enforce existing laws which encourage people to act responsibly on the roads, and the need to deflate the myth that a posted speed limit is a license to drive recklessly.

    As for victimized drivers -- I absolutely admit that drivers can be the victims of bad cycling at least as often as the reverse is true, and I support cyclists being held just as accountable for their illegal actions. I'm just concerned that by "victimized drivers" you mean drivers who are "unrealistically" expected to slow down and drive safely and then are "unreasonably" held accountable when they fail to do so.

  • sggoodri Jun 5, 2008

    "There's a very good reason non-motorized vehicles aren't allowed on the expressways--high speed."

    Au contraire! The real reason is the lack of driveways. Freeways in NC are completely redundant to other roads that are open to nonmotorized travel to any destination. The few fully controlled highway locations in NC that are not redundant for transportation, such as a bridge or two on the coast, are open to cyclists. Freeways elsewhere in the US that have no alternate routes also have provisions for cycling.

    Since cyclists could reach all of their destinations before the freeways were built, and freeways provide no local access, cyclists didn't challenge the ban on freeway use. Rural freeway shoulders are actually very safe for cycling, statictically, when compared to other roads.

    We can argue all day about how to make a given route safer, but the legal point is that cyclists have a right to reach their destinations.

  • Rob E. Jun 5, 2008

    Now don't go bringing his lack of insurance into it. That's really not fair. If you're out in the country you can't really get anywhere without driving, so it's unreasonable to expect someone to hang up their keys just because they can't afford insurance. It'd be one thing if there was some alternate form of transportation: something cheaper than a car that didn't require insurance and was still legal on the roads, preferably something that was less likely to collide with deer and less likely to have the weight and speed to do serious harm to others if operated unwisely. Until someone invents something like that, we really can't expect insurance requirements to keep people off of the roads.

More...