Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has determined that a deputy violated department policies last year by speeding through Spokane Valley without his lights or sirens activated and narrowly missing a teen bicyclist who subsequently crashed and died from his fall.
The internal investigation into Deputy Joseph Bodman and the May 2014 fatal bicycle crash of Ryan Holyk comes after three other investigations found that Bodman did not strike Holyk at the intersection of East Sprague Avenue and North Vista Road. The teen’s parents have rejected those findings and have filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office. Witnesses interviewed in the immediate aftermath said they heard the screech of brakes. The investigations dispute those recollections and show that neither Holyk’s body nor bicycle was hit by the SUV.
Bodman had been driving 70 mph along Sprague through the valley en route to aid another deputy who had called for help.
At the Vista Road intersection he narrowly missed a bicycling Holyk who was crossing against a red light at about 10:30 p.m. The investigations say Holyk stopped his bike in time _ by some accounts within inches of being struck by Bodman’s bumper - and was missed by the patrol SUV. The findings determined Holyk’s abrupt stop caused him to flip over his handlebars and land on his head as Bodman sped by.
The deputy stopped his SUV after the near miss, worried that he had struck the boy. Prosecutors have used the outside investigations to clear Bodman of criminal wrongdoing.
While the investigations found Bodman did not strike Holyk, the sheriff’s internal investigation led Knezovich to determine that Bodman should have engaged the patrol SUV’s emergency equipment, notified dispatch and then proceeded to aid the other deputy.
The statement by Knezovich regarding the results of the internal investigation did not disclose any disciplinary actions.
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