URBANA — A Champaign County judge fined an Indiana truck driver $500 for a traffic offense that resulted in a Mahomet man’s death.
Judge Ronda Holliman on Monday convicted Roman Sydoruk, 42, of Michigan City of improperly passing David Powell as he rode his bicycle on Illinois 47 north of Mahomet on April 3.
Sydoruk hit Mr. Powell, 46, who died three days later of his injuries.
“It’s a horrible human tragedy,” said Sydoruk’s attorney, Tom Bruno of Urbana.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz agreed, calling what happened a “tragic accident.”
“The appropriate place for this issue to be resolved is in civil court,” Rietz said, referring to a call from a local bicycling organization for a criminal charge against Sydoruk.
Sydoruk opted to have Holliman decide his guilt or innocence on the traffic offense based on diagrams and written reports of an Illinois State Police trooper that she was given prior to Monday’s hearing.
Reviewing the facts before she ruled, Holliman said both Mr. Powell and Sydoruk were northbound on Illinois 47 and that Mr. Powell was about 20 feet south of the intersection with County Road 2400 North when Sydoruk started to pass him in his semitrailer and hit him.
Holliman convicted Sydoruk of illegally passing within 100 feet of an intersection.
The maximum penalty he could have received was a $1,000 fine.
Rietz and Bruno said there were no witnesses to the accident and that Sydoruk told the trooper that Mr. Powell made a waving motion with his arm, which Sydoruk took to mean that he should pass him.
Rietz said there was nothing in the state trooper’s report to suggest recklessness on Sydoruk’s part, an element that might have supported a more serious charge.
She said Sydoruk had a prior speeding conviction out of Wisconsin from 2014 and no other record.