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ValleyRide van driver charged in Eagle cyclist's death

The Idaho Statesman: ValleyRide van driver charged in Eagle cyclist’s death

Michael Perkins of Boise is the first to face prosecution in a series of deadly crashes that started this spring.

BY KATHLEEN KRELLER - kkreller@idahostatesman.com
Published: 09/24/09

Michael Perkins is accused of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after a May 19 collision that killed Jim L. Chu of Eagle.

The charges were filed by Boise prosecutors in 4th District Court. Perkins has not been arrested or booked into the Ada County Jail. Instead, he will be summoned to appear in court, the preferred method for this type of case, according to Boise police, who said a court date isn’t known.

Perkins was driving a ValleyRide van when he struck Chu, 55, as he rode his bicycle on Orchard Street south of the airport, police say. Perkins veered out of the northbound lane when he reached down to adjust the air conditioning and hit Chu, who was riding on the northbound shoulder.

Perkins is still employed by ValleyRide, but he has been taken off driving duty until there is a resolution with his case, ValleyRide officials have said.

Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to a $2,000 fine. A court may order payment of support for any minor child of the victim.

Two other fatal bike/vehicle collisions in May and June remain under investigation, along with the Boise couple that was killed by a vehicle Aug. 19.