Truck driver headed to prison in vehicular homicide of cyclist, local bicyclist reacts

CLEVELAND - Members of the local cycling community said they believe Monday's conviction in the death of a Cleveland cyclist is validation for all of them.

Sylvia Bingham, 22,  was killed when her bike collided with a 26,000-pound truck driven by Herschel Roberts, 63. The collision occured at East 21st and Prospect in Cleveland.

In finding Roberts guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, Judge Daniel Gaul said that Roberts had just passed the bike and therefore he should have known that the bike was right behind him as he was about to make a right hand turn.

The courtroom was packed with cyclists to hear the judge's decision.

"I think there's a sense of relief and validation among the cyclists in the crowd today," Alex Nosse said. Nosse owns a bike shop and was Sylvia's boyfriend. "We feel that our rights have been protected as they should have been by the judge."

Judge Gaul sentenced Roberts to three years in prison after hearing an emotional statement from Sylvia's parents.

"Sylvia's gone forever because of this truck driver's bad choices and bad actions," Francoise Blusseau, her mother, said. "I am proud of Sylvia for the choice she made of riding her bicycle to work that morning, and hope that some day more is being done in Cleveland and other cities across the U.S. to protect cyclists from bad drivers."

Roberts offered his condolences to the family.

"I extend my sincere condolences to you for your loss," he said. "It was a terrible accident. I'm sorry it happened."

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