By Mitchell Byars Camera Staff Writer
A dump truck driver who was involved in a fatal bicycle accident in June and was ticketed in a road-rage incident with a biker in 2009 had another incident with a pair of cyclists in Boulder in 2003.
Christopher Loven, 45, of Boulder County, was driving the dump truck in the accident that killed cyclist Eugene Phillip Howry, 73, of Boulder, in Lefthand Canyon on June 17. No charges have been filed in the crash.
According to a police report, Loven and Jim Mohan, 43, formerly of Boulder, were cited on suspicion of brawling in 2003 after a confrontation that Mohan said was the result of Loven using a truck to run him and a friend off the road while they were biking.
Mohan, who now lives in Baltimore, and a friend, Hugh Walton, were riding near Colo. 119 and 47th Street in July 2003. Mohan told police that Loven cut them off with his truck and forced them off the road.
“I was upset because I thought that it was malicious,” Mohan told the Camera on Friday.
When Mohan caught up to Loven at an intersection, he said, the two men exchanged words, and Loven got out of his truck.
Mohan then threw a punch, hitting Loven in the head.
“He was a big guy,” said Mohan, who admitted to police that he threw the first punch. “Once that happened, it was pretty bad. I felt like I was fighting for my life.”
Police arrived and broke up the fight. Mohan and Walton gave their story, but Loven and a passenger in his truck disputed their claims.
“It was our side versus their side,” Mohan said.
Both Loven and Mohan were cited with public brawling.
Calls to Loven were not returned Friday.
Mohan said that if he and Walton — who are both former professional riders — were less experienced, he thinks they would have been hit and possibly killed on the road that day.
Mohan said Walton e-mailed him the story about Howry’s death when he recognized Loven’s name from their 2003 run-in.
“I was kind of in shock, but once I got a chance to digest it I was not surprised,” Mohan said.
In 2009, Loven was ticketed on suspicion of reckless endangerment after a cyclist said he used his truck to push him into oncoming traffic near Lee Hill Drive and Olde Stage Road. Loven pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to probation and community service in that case.
In the case of the fatal accident last month, the Colorado State Patrol is continuing its investigation. Preliminary results indicated that Loven was at fault because he failed to yield, but State Patrol spokeswoman Heather Cobler has said it often takes two months or more to do a complete accident investigation.