Christopher Loven to face careless driving count in truck/bike death that killed Eugene Howrey

eugene howrey.jpg
Eugene Howrey.
In June, avid bicyclist Eugene Howrey, age 73, was struck and killed by a dump truck driven by Christopher Loven, a man with a number of past run-ins with pedalers. In the years prior to the Lowrey tragedy, he was allegedly involved in two separate bike-rage incidents.

Months later, the Boulder District Attorney's Office has finally decided to charge Loven with careless driving.

In June, as we've reported, Howrey, a founding member of the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society who moved to Boulder a few years ago, was riding east on Lefthand Canyon Road alongside his wife, Sharon. Loven's truck was headed in the opposite direction, and it hit Howrey's bike as Loven was making a turn. The impact threw Howrey approximately 36 feet. He'd been wearing a helmet, but he was declared dead at the scene.

At first glance, Howrey's death seems to be nothing more than a terrible accident. But then Loven's past came to light.

The Boulder Daily Camera has done the heavy lifting on the Loven story. As the paper noted, he was accused with brawling in 2003 with a man named Jim Mohan, who says the fight was prompted by Loven using his truck to run him and a companion off the road.

Mohan was able to catch up with the truck driver at an intersection, and his harsh words inspired Loven to climb from the vehicle. At that point, Mohan punched Loven in the head -- a bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that Loven was much larger than his angry adversary. "I felt like I was fighting for my life," Mohan told the Camera.

In the end, nothing much came of this dust-up -- but that wasn't the case six years later. According to Bicycle Times Magazine, cyclist Scott Boulbol was in a designated bike lane when Loven passed him with little room to spare on Lee Hill Road. This maneuver sparked a shouting match, after which Loven got back into his truck -- which he used to block the bike lane and force Boulbol into oncoming traffic.

Loven eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment. But he was only sentenced to probation and community service, which incensed the folks at the Liberty on Bikes! blog. The author of a Loven-related post wrote, "Road rage should just be an automatic six month suspended license, no questions asked... I love how if you swung a metal bat at someone, it can be aggravated assault and a lengthy jail sentence. But wielding two tons of steel can be pawned off as an 'accident,' or maybe 'negligent operation of a vehicle.'"

There was no chance the Howrey crash could be brushed off, and it wasn't -- but according to the Camera, an investigatory backlog meant the inquiry into the facts didn't begin in earnest until late October. During the weeks since then, the Colorado State Patrol completed a report. Its conclusion: Loven didn't intentionally hit Howrey, and neither was he traveling over the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour. However, investigators believe he was still driving too fast given the mammoth size and type of his vehicle, which sported a loaded trailer. As such, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett believes a careless driving resulting in death count is appropriate.

This charge, by the way, is a misdemeanor. Look below to see a Daily Camera video from the scene of the crash.

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5 comments
susanmeade
susanmeade

OMG!!! what a terrible accident! It seems that many fatal accidents are caused by Toronto careless driving nowadays. The truck driver, Christopher Loven, should get many years in prison because he killed an innocent man. The offense of careless driving is not enough for this serious crash.

Lone Mountain Truck Leasing
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing

I like to read this well post. It give a well dricritopn for the driving truck and bike. There are many people which is careless to drive a car and bike. Some people are drinking a wine and take a different types of drug. It is drive with the inebriety. Some minor child are doing a driving which is break a rules and regulation.

Careless driving Toronto
Careless driving Toronto

That's what happens wit careless drivers....I hate them because usually that's why people die on the road and that's why normal drivers have to pay attention to what crazy drivers do and not  to how they drive. And unfortunately only some jail time can make them realize how stupid they were....I have such friends and I always try to tell them to be more careful in traffic but no....they think they're the kings of all roads....and innocent people suffer because of them.

Opus the Poet
Opus the Poet

Can they deprive him of the privilege to use deadly weapons as transportation after his sentence? He has already more than displayed the inability to use them responsibly from the totality of his actions (3 road-rage against cyclist accusations, 1 conviction, plus this fatality). For everyone's safety he needs to be permanently removed from the controls of vehicels that can kill without effort.

Wheels
Wheels

Good job Garnett.  This guy needs some cooling off time, and a short stint in jail will keep him off the roads.

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