The truck driver who fatally struck cyclist Heather Lough in the Bronx two years ago has pleaded guilty to reckless driving and failure to exercise due care. He will avoid jail time, Streetsblog reports, and has instead agreed to a plea deal that will result in a $1,088 fine and a 75-day license suspension.
Lough, 29, was run over by Robert Owens back in 2016 as she was biking to work at the New York Botanical Garden. Police said that Owens was making a left turn onto Southern Boulevard when he struck Lough, who had the right of way, with the front of his box truck. According to the criminal complaint, Owens was driving on the wrong side of the street while making the turn. Witnesses told Streetsblog he was on his cellphone at the time of the crash.
Lough died from the injuries sustained in the crash five days later. Owens was arrested at the scene and charged with reckless driving and failure to yield, a Right of Way Law violation carrying a top penalty of up to 30 days in jail. Owens challenged the constitutionality of the Right of Way Law, and that charge was eventually dropped. Failure to exercise due care, to which he did plead guilty, is a traffic infraction.
A spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Daniel Flanzig, the attorney for the Lough family in their civil case, told Gothamist that "the family feels that the killer should be behind bars, but they're grateful for the effort that District Attorney put into this case."
"The next steps are now to hold him accountable in civil court for the impact this has had on her husband and her family," he added.
A deposition for the civil case is scheduled to take place in the next 60 days.