Driver charged in bicyclist’s death

A Bremerton woman is due in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday to face a vehicular homicide charge after allegedly striking and killing of a 41-year-old Port Orchard bicyclist in September while driving on a canceled driver’s license.

Delores Magneson, 59, has been ordered to appear on Feb. 25 by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the charge last month.

According to the probable cause statement prepared by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Magneson was driving westbound on Mile Hill Drive between Alaska and California avenues around 6 p.m. when her car veered into the shoulder and struck Craig Hatt of Port Orchard, who was riding in the bike lane near her vehicle.

Hatt later died of the injuries he sustained in the collision.

When a deputy responded to the scene, Magneson explained that her windshield had “fogged-up” and she was pulling over to “wipe it off” when she struck Hatt, whom she said she did not see.

While checking Magneson’s driver’s license record, the deputy noted that its status was “canceled.” When he asked her why, she immediately said “My eyes,” explaining that she suffers from a diabetic condition that causes her eyes to degrade, and that she has had cataract surgery on both eyes.

The deputy learned later after contacting the Washington State Department of Licensing that Magneson’s license had been canceled due to her not providing a required vision certificate.

The deputy also noted that she had five collisions on her record, two reported to law enforcement and three only reported to her insurance company.

“The overall theme to these collisions was that ‘she did not see the other vehicle,’” the deputy wrote.

At the end of his report, the deputy recommended she be charged with vehicular homicide, pointing to “her driving on a canceled license, failing to yield to or see the bicyclist and history of collisions” as evidence of her “disregard for the safety of others.”

Two blue signs have been placed on Mile Hill Drive, on both sides of the street, near the site of the accident as a memorial to Craig Hatt and asking drivers to look out for bicyclists.

Dusty Wiley, a traffic investigator for Kitsap County, said the signs had been paid for by Hatt’s family, and would be in place for three years.

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