Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Duo's last sunrise on Black Mountain

Kristy Gough

Matt Peterson

Sheriff's deputy hits cyclists, killing 2

Demian Bulwa, Delfin Vigil, Tyche Hendricks, and Cecilia M. Vega
San Francisco Chronicle
March 11, 2008

Cupertino -- A rookie Santa Clara County deputy sheriff patrolling a winding Cupertino road Sunday morning veered into the opposite lane of traffic and struck three bicyclists, killing two, including a rising star in the Bay Area cycling community, authorities said.

Authorities did not release the names of the riders who were killed, but friends identified them as Kristy Gough, 30, of San Leandro and Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco. The third cyclist, whose name was not released, was listed in critical condition Sunday night at Stanford University Medical Center.

Gough was a professional triathlete who recently took up road racing and who friends said won every race she entered this year. She and Peterson, also an amateur road racing cyclist, both won their divisions in a March 1 road racing event in downtown Merced.

Gough, Peterson and the third cyclist were on a training ride on Stevens Canyon Road and had broken away from a group of eight others when they were struck by the on-duty deputy at about 10:25 a.m., friends of the riders said.

The unidentified deputy was driving northbound when his white cruiser accidentally crossed over the double yellow line between Montebello and Ricardo roads and hit the cyclists, said Sgt. Don Morrissey, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.

The rest (1).


Update 6 Nov 2009:

Santa Clara County has agreed to pay $800,000 to the father of one of the two bicyclists struck and killed by a sheriff's deputy who fell asleep at the wheel of his cruiser, officials said Thursday.

Deputy James Council's car crossed the center line of Stevens Canyon Road in Cupertino on March 9, 2008, and struck three bicyclists. Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco, and Kristy Gough, 30, of San Leandro were killed, and the third bicyclist was badly injured.

Gough's father, Rip Gough, mother Karen Clarkson and Peterson's parents, John and Betty Peterson, sued the county in Superior Court. In October, the county agreed to pay $1.2 million to Clarkson. In July, the county settled with the Petersons for $2.3 million.

Another suit filed by the injured cyclist, Christopher Knapp, is pending.

County officials said they and Council "publicly acknowledged responsibility for this tragic accident and have made every effort to reasonably compensate all accident victims."

Council was sentenced in June to four months in jail and 800 hours of community service after pleading guilty to two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Officials said he would probably serve the jail term in home detention or by participating in the sheriff's work-furlough program.

Council was demoted after the accident to an unsworn position as a sheriff's technician. He is barred from driving a patrol car or carrying a gun.

When the accident happened, Council was 4 1/2 hours into a 12-hour shift after working a 12 1/2-hour shift the day before.

Article continues here.

(Lee, Henry K. "$800K for father of bicyclist killed in crash." San Francisco Chronicle. Nov 5, 2009. Accessed Nov 6, 2009. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/05/BA841AG0NQ.DTL&tsp=1 )


This is sad. I used to ride along this road all the time (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) when I lived in Cupertino and Santa Clara.

Requiéscant in pāce.

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