Prosecutor charges Auburn man, 41, with vehicular homicide in death of bicyclist

The King County Prosecutor claims an Auburn man may have been on his cellphone when he struck and killed 57-year-old bicyclist Constantin Dragomir on the afternoon of June 2, 2018.

On Feb. 14, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Amy J. Freedheim charged 41-year-old Jorge L. Alvarez-Galaviz with one count of vehicular homicide.

According to Auburn Police and court records, this is what happened:

At about 3:20 p.m. on June 2, Alvarez-Galaviz was driving on Auburn Way South when, “grossly distracted,” he failed to notice exactly why traffic was slowing as he approached a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Auburn Way South and Fir Street Southeast, complete with flashing LED lights and a bicyclist in the crosswalk.

Instead, according to Auburn Police, Alvarez-Galaviz passed several cars at an estimated speed of 35 mph – the posted speed – and plowed into Dragomir, then in the outside eastbound lane, throwing him about 53 feet onto a concrete sidewalk. Dragomir sustained catastrophic injuries and died on the way to a hospital.

According to court records, Alvarez-Galaviz refused any blood draw at the scene but showed no signs of impairment during field sobriety tests, though he admitted to having smoked a bowl of pot that morning. The substance was found in his vehicle.

An investigation also showed no mechanical failure of Alvarez-Galaviz’ vehicle.

“He had ample opportunity to see and stop for the cyclist and gave no explanation for his distraction,” Freedheim told the court in her request for $50,000 bail.

“Further investigation indicates that he was likely on the phone or had just been on the phone before the crash. A phone call was determined to have been made within a couple of minutes of the crash and the charging cords were found in (the) driver’s compartment. This would account for his gross distraction and failure to take any evasive actions acknowledging the active crosswalk with plenty of time to do so.”

Freedheim said Alvarez-Galaviz did not have a valid driver’s license on his person or any liability insurance at the time of the accident.

Indeed, Freedheim said, police had cited him for those deficiencies on June 1, and he claimed that he had been coming from the Department of Licensing office on the day of the accident.

The event was captured on video.

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