Bicyclist killed in Prescott after being struck by truck

Toby Lee Beaty
Toby Lee Beaty

[Update: PLEA DEAL March 5, 2016  Driver takes plea in fatal Prescott bike crash  “The plea agreement noted that probation of up to seven years is available” The possibility of (only) probation for manslaghter? This indicates the deal stipulates that the manslaughter was “non-dangerous”.  Go figure.

SENTENCE: Yavapai County Superior Court CR-201501124; case minute from 4/4/2016 contains the sentence (Yavapai minutes are available via AZ Supreme Case lookup, but apparently not linkable); if i am reading it correctly, it’s 3 years incarceration in prison for the non-dangerous manslaughter. The DUI resulted in effectively no punishment (it’s concurrent; I suppose this is normal). ]

[Update: Man charged in deadly January truck vs. bicycle crash “Toby Beaty, 37, of Prescott, was arrested Sunday, Oct. 18 2015 and charged with manslaughter and two counts of misdemeanor DUI …”  No word on why this took so long.]

Victim Amber “Cricket” Harrington, 23/F.  1/16/2015 ~ 5pm Location: southbound White Spar Road, unspecified location; but presumably within city of Prescott.

Both were SB on White Spar. I think but I’m not sure the crash occured approaching the intersection with Copper Basin Road. This 12/16 news story said witnesses “suggested that the position of the sun may have made visibility difficult”. I’m not sure how plausible that is, in any event, sunset was 5:43pm (the crash time is 4:57pm according to the crash report) and the road bends in a southwesterly direction there. None of the news reports that I saw gave the lateral locations of the truck/cyclist. There are three lanes there: left-turn only, straight, and right-turn only. The 12/16 news story also said BAC was zero, and mentions being positive for marijuana metabolites (presubly from a blood draw; also presumably obtained from a warrant); and that there are two misdemeanor DUI charges without being specific. There is no numerical limit on marijuana, anything above 0 for active metabolites is by definition a violation of 28-1381A3. The other charge is typically 28-1381A1 “impaired to the slightest degree”. In case you were wondering the alcohol per se rule is 1381A2. Note this conflicts with this facebook comment that i have no way to verify:

according to the police report, beaty did not perform very well on field sobriety tests, but did not consent to blood and urine samples, so these had to await the issuance of a warrant, which took a couple or three hours. then of course there is only on lab in the entire state, with apparently a turnaround time of several months. incidentally, the reason there are two misdemeanor DUI counts is one is for cannabis.

Criminal case and Sentencing

See the updates at the very top of this article.

Crash Report

This is ADOT incident 2921100 (you won’t be able to click that link). The motorist was faulted for “OTHER” (somewhat common in fatalility cases); Bicyclist “NO IMPROPER”. Unit directions and actions are consistent with a strike from behind both going straight ahead.

Some random old material

This is just a general comment regarding motorist-overtaking type collisions; I have no idea what happened in this particular collision, plus i have no idea where along White Spar it occured: Further away from town, but still within the city limits White Spar Road (rt 89) tends to be a two-lane affair with variable-to-no usable shoulder. Bicyclists have a tendency to ride too far to the right; exacerbating a common motorist error, “motorist overtaking; misjudged space”. Closer to town it’s more like a standard urban/suburban road, e.g. here closer to Copper Basin Rd it’s one wide lane in each direction with a center turn lane. Update: the story in the Daily Courier says the location was southbound White Spar near Copper Basin. Here is a news story sourced to the AP (which to their credit, and unlike the Daily Courier, eshewed use of the a-word)

Bicyclist killed in Prescott after being struck by truck
Posted: Jan 17, 2015 9:43 AM PRESCOTT, AZ (AP) –
Police in Prescott say a college student riding her bike has died after being hit by a pickup truck.
Police spokeswoman Lt. Amy Bonney says 23-year-old Amber Harrington was traveling southbound on White Spar Road on Friday when the truck allegedly struck her from behind just before 5 p.m… Bonney did not release the identity of the 36-year-old driver, who is from Prescott…

Prescott Traffic Crash History

There were 14 reported traffic fatalities in the city of Prescott in the five most recent years available, 2009-2013. 11 were motorists and 3 were pedestrians, there were zero bicyclist fatalities; there also appear to have been no bicyclist fatalities in 2014, though that isn’t finalized yet.

For a map of all bike-MV, or ped-MV crashes see the crash map. There were 64 bike-MV collisions out of a total of 3,818 MV crashes over the 5-year period; or about 1.7% which is similar to the statewide average of 1.9%.

select IncidentID, IncidentDate, TotalNonMotorists, TotalFatalities from 2011_incident where CityID=228 AND eInjurySeverity LIKE "FATAL%";

Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee

As of sometime around March 2015, there has been a Prescott BAC being formed, see .e.g Efforts underway to improve safety for bikes. The news story is curiously silent about the fatality investigation (going on 3 months now as I write this). The most recent news seems to be from Jan 21 Police identify driver in fatal collision with bicyclist “Prescott police spokeswoman Amy Bonney said the driver was 37-year-old Toby Beaty of Prescott…Police will work with the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office to determine what charges, if any, might be filed, once the investigation has been completed, she said”