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No charges for SUV driver in teen cyclist's death

The Coloradoan: No charges for SUV driver in teen cyclist’s death

BY NATE TAYLOR • NATETAYLOR@COLORADOAN.COM • DECEMBER 18, 2009

The Fort Collins driver whose SUV collided with a 14-year-old cyclist in August will not be charged with any crimes in connection with the crash.

 

Fort Collins police completed its investigation into the accident that killed Urangua "Sisi" Mijiddorj at Drake Road and Iowa Drive and presented the case to Larimer County prosecutors. Police recommended Christopher Chad Christian, 38, be charged with failure to render aid, according to Sgt. Mike Trombley.

But Larimer County District Attorney spokeswoman Linda Jensen said filing any charge would be inappropriate.

"Due to the totality of the circumstances, it was determined that charges would not be provable in court and, therefore, not appropriate," Jensen said of the case presented to prosecutors.

Christian was driving a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder eastbound about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 20 on Drake Road when the front of his vehicle struck Mijiddorj as she was riding her bicycle northbound on Iowa Drive, according to police. Christian told police he was paying attention when the crash occurred and was not distracted by anything but was battling a low-rising sun.

"A couple of cars were in the other lane going west. As soon as they passed, a bike came out from behind them and was directly in front of me," Christian wrote in a report submitted to police the day of the crash.

Other drivers who provided witness statements to police and other police officers who responded to the crash said the sun was a hindrance for eastbound drivers at that time of day.

A police investigation contradicted Christian’s belief that Mijiddorj was traveling southbound, although police reports indicate Christian had a hard time understanding how Mijiddorj could have been traveling northbound even after an investigator explained the evidence that led to that conclusion.

Police officer Scott Crumbaker, the lead investigator, wrote in police reports he was never able to determine why Mijiddorj was traveling northbound or why she was in the area.

Police found a bag belonging to Mijiddorj near the crash site that contained her Poudre High School identification card, a cell phone, cash, school notebooks, papers and pens.

Christian told police after the crash that he pulled off to the right side of Drake, waited in his car for about three seconds and then got out to check on the person he had just struck with his car. Police write in their reports that he appeared "upset" and indicate he told officers he did not call 911 because his hands were too shaky to dial the correct number and because another driver had already placed a call to 911.

 

Police documents indicate Crumbaker discovered that Christian had taken CPR classes through his work but did not conduct CPR when he saw the extent of Mijiddorj’s injuries. Christian said he did not want to move Mijiddorj’s body or check for a pulse because he was afraid of causing her further injuries by doing so.

Fort Collins police Officer Benjamin Rayls, who was the first to arrive on scene, said he checked Mijiddorj for a pulse and was not able to find one. He also wrote in a report he did not attempt CPR because he feared she had a spinal cord injury.

Jensen said the case was presented to prosecutors Oct. 6 and police reports indicate Crumbaker closed the case Oct. 23. The Coloradoan on multiple occasions requested information from investigators about the case between October and December but in all instances were told the case was still under investigation or did not receive a response.