• Lake Stevens cyclist killed by driver during charity bike ride

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    INDIO, Calif. -  A Lake Stevens cyclist who was participating in the Tour de Palm Springs near Indio, California, Saturday was killed by a driver who witnesses say was moving at least 100 mph.

    The Riverside County Coroner's Office said 49-year-old Mark Kristofferson died at the scene.  A second cyclist, a Huntington Beach woman, had major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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    CHP Sgt. Isaiah Kee told the Desert Sun that numerous riders were traveling eastbound on Dillon Road on the 100-mile charity bike ride route when a 2006 Ford 500 approached from behind at high speed, swerved into the westbound lane and then onto the dirt shoulder. The car then veered back into the eastbound lane, hitting the two bicyclists. 

    The car then hit a berm and rolled over.

    Several of the cyclists told authorities the car was traveling at more than 100 mph. The speed limit on the two-lane road is 50 mph.

    The driver, Ronnie Huerta Jr., faces vehicular manslaughter charges. He was released after posting $75,000 bail. 

    The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Monday that the 21-year-old's license had been suspended since Dec. 4 for being a negligent vehicle operator and failures to appear.

    The site for the charity ride says  the Tour de Palm Springs has raised over $3,000,000 for Coachella Valley charities since 1999.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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