Newton Falls man charged in death of bicyclistPublished: 1/14/17 @ 12:08
By Ed Runyan
Don S. Bryant, 53, of Holcomb Road, told investigators he hit bicyclist Michael S. Hunyady, 19, also of Holcomb Road, early Sept. 25 because the glare from the bright sun made it impossible for him to see.
“If I would have seen him, yeah, it wouldn’t have happened,” he told a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol the morning of Sept. 25 shortly after the accident.
The comment is contained in an Ohio State Highway Patrol report obtained by The Vindicator Friday.
Bryant said he was driving on Holcomb Road at 7:47 a.m. to a golf outing with the “sun in my face, couldn’t see nothing.” He had just left home, he said. He realized he hit something and stopped.
But troopers learned a new fact about Bryant on Nov. 22 – Bryant’s toxicology results from a urine sample showed that Bryant had more than a 200 nanogram-per-milliliter reading for the marijuana metabolite in his system. The report says a person should be cited if the metabolite concentration is at least 35 nanograms per milliliter of urine.
The patrol spoke with the Newton Falls Municipal Court prosecutor Nov. 30, and Bryant was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle impaired.
No drugs or alcohol were detected for Hunyady, who the report said was riding along the right side of the road with traffic, as Ohio law requires.
Bryant, who surrendered at the Trumbull County jail this week to be booked and fingerprinted, was arraigned on the two charges Dec. 13 in Newton Falls Municipal Court. He was released after posting $10,000 bond.
If convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, Bryant could get up to eight years in prison.
Hunyady was riding his bicycle on his way to work at the Shop and Save store that Sunday morning, as he did on a regular basis, his family told 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner.
Hunyady’s older brother, James Tuchek, told WFMJ Hunyady was a responsible kid, focused on paying for and attending ETI Technical College and his dreams of one day becoming an underwater welder.
“It took a lot out of me, but it was more hurtful seeing my mom so broken up,” Tuchek said of his brother’s death. “I don’t wish any parent to have to outlive any of their children.”
The OSHP reminded bicyclists a few days after the crash to wear bright colors, place reflectors on the front and back of their bikes and to not wear headphones while riding, WFMJ said.
Another driver who passed Hunyady that morning traveling the same direction as Bryant about 10 minutes before the crash, said she had a lot of trouble seeing the bicyclist.