A Boise man has been charged with inattentive driving following a collision with a bicyclist on Vista Avenue last September, according to court documents.
Gary “Denis” Garner Jr., the 50-year-old bicyclist, died four days after the accident. He died from acute hemorrahagic shock and a ruptured spleen, the result of being struck by a truck while riding his bicycle, his death certificate says.
Andrew N. Spidell, 34, was initially cited with a traffic infraction for not leaving safe passing distance when passing a bike in an F-150 truck. That was amended to misdemeanor inattentive driving.
The collision occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2016, on Vista Avenue near Lemhi Street, close to Garner’s house.
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Jamie Garner said her husband roused her from sleep to tell her he was hit by a car.
“He said, ‘I’m having trouble breathing,’” she recalled. She said he told her that the driver involved in the collision did not call 911, so he walked home to get help. Paramedics took him to a local hospital for treatment, she said.
Boise police were dispatched to the scene at 1:48 a.m.
“Due to the ongoing court proceedings we do not have any further information available for release at this time,” Boise police spokeswoman Haley Williams said.
Jamie Garner said her husband was an avid bicyclist who had multiple bike lights and reflectors. He had been working as a construction foreman on the graveyard shift, so he was often up late. The night of the accident, he was riding his bicycle home from a friend’s house, his wife said.
Denis Garner was released from the hospital the day after the accident. But he took a serious turn a few days later; his family found him on the floor late on the night of Sept. 5. He died at 10:05 p.m. Sept. 6, records show.
Jamie Garner said her husband told her the mirror of the truck hit him. The impact, she said, knocked the mirror off. She’s upset that the driver isn’t facing stiffer penalties.
“You’re not holding this guy accountable for killing someone,” she said of local officials.
Mike Journee, a spokesman for the Boise City Prosecutor’s Office, said prosecutors looked at amending the charge to vehicular manslaughter. But they ultimately decided the evidence didn’t support that.
“Because the case is still pending, this is all we will be able to share at this time,” Journee said.
Spidell’s attorney is Chris Sherman, according to online court records. He did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Jamie Garner’s attorney is Kurt Holzer. They believe there was a witness to the collision, and they are asking for this person to come forward. Holzer can be contacted at his firm, 386-9119.
A pretrial conference is set for 8:15 a.m. March 27 before Judge Michael Oths.