A security officer has been charged with second-degree negligent driving after hitting a cyclist head on last week. The driver took his eyes off the road to retrieve a clip board and lost control of his vehicle.

Wenatchee Diver Hits Cyclist, Faces Negligent Driving Citation

Posted on Nov 17, 2008

The Wenatchee World Online reports that 56-year-old security guard Andrew Sandoval of Wenatchee, Washington, will face second-degree negligent driving charges after hitting a cyclist and causing serious injury.

According to Wenatchee Police, Sandoval was driving his patrol car down the 1900 block of Skyline Drive when he temporarily lost control of his vehicle on the sloped curve. He crossed the double yellow centerline and hit an oncoming cyclist. Sandoval claimed to investigators that he had dropped a clipboard and reached down to retrieve it, taking his eyes off the road.

He hit Ed Farrar, a 57-year-old Wenatchee orthopedic surgeon and long-time cyclist. He had served as a physician in the town for 25 years. EMS rushed the bicycle rider to Central Washington Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition and suffering from a spinal cord injury.

Sandoval is not facing first-degree negligent driving charges since he did not want to hurt anyone and simply made a bad choice while driving.

"Reckless driving requires intent. This man, as far as we can tell, did not intend to hurt anybody," said Wenatchee police Sgt. Cherie Smith.

A week later, Farrar remained in serious condition. "He has a bevy of very good physicians working on him," said his wife Cindy Farrar this morning. "They're still trying to repair the damage that was done."

Cindy also thanked the community for their outpouring of support. She said that the family had been overwhelmed with flowers and that well-wishers should send contributions to the Wenatchee Valley Velo cycling club in lieu of bouquets. Farrar is a founding member of the cycling club.

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