Dillon man who allegedly struck and killed cyclist on Highway 9 pleads not guilty | SummitDaily.com

Dillon man who allegedly struck and killed cyclist on Highway 9 pleads not guilty

Summit County judge sets a two-day jury trial for late August

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The Summit County Justice Center is pictured in Breckenridge.
Summit Daily News archive

The driver who allegedly struck a cyclist with his vehicle on Colorado Highway 9 in September, leading to the cyclist’s death, has pleaded not guilty to all related charges.

Jesus Manuel Gutierrez Sanchez, 25, of Dillon, appeared in Summit County court Thursday, April 27, on charges of careless driving resulting in death, a Class 1 traffic offense; false reporting, a Class 2 misdemeanor; and driving without a license, a Class A traffic infraction.

Judge Edward Casias scheduled a two-day trial to begin Aug. 24. The court initially considered later dates but settled for late August to accommodate the family of the bicyclist killed in the crash. 

Police say Sanchez hit the 65-year-old Bruce Trippet when his pickup truck drifted onto the shoulder of Colorado Highway 9 on Sept. 20. Trippet, of Excelsior, Minnesota, was attempting the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, according to a family member.

A Colorado State Patrol report on the crash indicates there were clear skies and the road was dry when Sanchez, headed southbound in a Dodge Ram 1500, drove onto the shoulder and collided with the rear of the bicycle. 

Trippet was thrown from the bike and landed on the side of the road, while Sanchez veered back into the lane of travel after impact and came to a rest blocking the northbound lane of traffic, according to the report. 

Responders performed CPR but the cyclist died at the scene, Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said the day after the crash. 

Sanchez told police he was driving 52 mph at the time of the crash, and police estimated his speed to be 55 mph, the speed limit in the area where he was driving, according to the report. The crash reportedly occurred on a straight and level section of the roadway where bikes and motor vehicles are required to share the road.

Sanchez’s vehicle sustained severe damage to its frontside and had to be towed from the scene due to disabling damage, the report states.

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