Driver pleads guilty to careless driving resulting in death of 69-year-old Greeley cyclist

Cyclist Dick Warren hit by car on road shoulder

GREELEY, Colo. - A driver has pleaded guilty to careless driving after hitting and killing a 69-year-old Greeley cyclist who was riding on the shoulder of the road last year.

Mark Christensen, 67, pleaded guilty in Weld County Court Thursday to one count of careless driving resulting in death, a class-one traffic offense, said Heath Montgomery, spokesman for the Weld County District Attorney's Office.

According to police and court records, Dick Warren was riding his bicycle along the shoulder of the Two Rivers Parkway near Weld County Road 396 on May 16, 2012, when he was he was hit by a car driven by Christensen.

Warren, who was wearing a helmet, died from his injuries.

Christensen is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4.

The maximum penalty for a class-one traffic offense is one year in jail.

Prosecutors and Christensen's defense attorney agree he will avoid jail time and instead serve two years of unsupervised probation, 30 days of home detention with electronic monitoring, 80 days of community service and a level-one safe driving class, Montgomery said.

A judge will have to approve that sentence.

Warren's daughter, Juel Rae, emailed the following comments to 7NEWS.

"It is my hope that anyone who took the time to read the article will have a moment of realizing the importance of road awareness and that even 2 seconds of not paying attention while driving can result in tragic consequences," the daughter wrote. 

"My dad was 69 and an avid cyclist. Last year, he clocked more than 4,000 miles on his road bike, including a climb up Trail Ridge Road."

After her father was hit by the car, "He survived 11 days at Denver Health in the Intensive Care Unit before dying from his injuries," Juel Rae wrote.

"The family is relieved that the driver pleaded guilty so that we did not have to endure a trial by jury," the daughter added.