$1k fine for truckie who killed Aussie tourist
NEW York garbage truck driver Felipe Chairez, who drank beer before the Central Park West bicycle crash that killed Australian tourist Madison Lyden, has walked out of court with $US1000 in fines, after prosecutors dismissed the main charge.
Assistant District lawyer Anne Siegel told a hearing in Manhattan on Tuesday "the evidence is insufficient" to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated against Chairez.
Witnesses and video confirmed Chairez drove his truck in his lane, within the speed limit and in a reasonable manner, she said.
"All known eyewitnesses, including the victim's friend who was cycling close behind her at the time she was killed, were spoken to," Ms Siegel said.
Ms Lyden, 23, was raised in Tasmania and had been living in Geelong, was holidaying in New York on August 10 last year.
She was riding a bike along Central Park West near West 67th Street when an Uber driver allegedly strayed into her bike lane, forcing Ms Lyden to swerve into Chairez's truck.
Ms Lyden's mother, Amanda Berry, was furious prosecutors did not charge the Uber driver.
The NYPD also wanted the Uber driver charged, but Manhattan District lawyer Cy Vance said "a gap in the law" meant he could not because state law did not allow for a criminal charge of a driver who has not made contact with other vehicles or people.
Chairez, according to police, said he drank two beers before the incident. Police said he had a 0.04 blood alcohol reading.
Chairez entered guilty pleas on Tuesday to one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and one count of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.
He was sentenced to $US500 fines for each count, a one-year driver's licence suspension and ordered to attend a victim impact panel and the Stop DWI Program.
Prosecutors said they spoke with two men who were with Chairez before he drove from his last job site in downtown Manhattan north towards the Bronx and who were in a compartment in the garbage truck at the time of the incident.
"Witnesses at 66-67th Streets and Central Park West stated the defendant remained in his lane and drove within the speed limit," Ms Siegel said.
"Video surveillance at that location confirmed the witness accounts and showed that the defendant operated the garbage truck in a reasonable manner.
"Therefore, the people cannot prove count one beyond a reasonable doubt and move to dismiss the charge."