blind man drives, kills cyclist, goes home.

In case you've ever refrained from killing a cyclist because you don't want to go to jail, don't worry about it.

from bikingbis.com

"Family members of a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a legally blind motorist in central Pennsylvania are livid that prosecutors are only seeking home confinement for the driver.

The CentreDaily reports that the Boalsburg man had filed medical disability forms beginning in the mid 1980s stating he was legally blind. He pleaded guilty this week to homicide by vehicle.

His sentence of nine months of home confinement and five years of probation is scheduled to be heard in court on May 22. Dorota Smith, daughter of the Penn State professor who was struck and killed, said the family will contest the plea bargain.

"He killed a man. It's not a straightforward case and would require some work. It's an unprecedented case. It's not often you hear of a blind person getting behind the wheel and driving for 20 years. I think (the prosecutor) is too quick to give up. He took the easiest way out."

The issue once again raises the question of whether vehicular homicide laws are just too weak or prosecutors don't take these cases seriously.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira told the newspaper that he might not be able to prove to a jury that the motorist's decision to drive, despite his poor eyesight, caused the death of bicyclist Bohdan Kulakowski, a Penn State professor.

"The key to this is -- and we have struggled over this -- can we tie his eye condition to the accident, to the death? That's what the law requires. It can't just look like that. These cases are very difficult to show the causal connection."

The motorist said he struck Kulakowski when he reached for a soda bottle on the floor of his van and it veered off the road and hit the bicyclist.

The motorist's eye doctor had testified earlier that he had 20/200 vision in his left eye, and 3/200 vision in his right eye."

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