Careless driver sentenced to jail time for bicyclist’s death

An Aurora woman who was driving a car that hit and killed a bicyclist in Parker was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail.

Beth Ann Young, 55, was sentenced to two years supervised probation, 300 hours public service and 30 days jail with work release for the death of John “Jake” Kirby, 53, of Parker. Young pleaded guilty March 15 to careless driving resulting in death.

“In most cases judges don’t impose jail time in these cases,” acknowledged Douglas County Judge Monica Gomez in announcing the sentence. But “this culture that we have learned to accept says distracted driving is normal, where an individual does not receive punishment. … I feel we may be getting too comfortable with that.”

On Nov. 27, 2017, at 3:45 p.m. Young was driving a 2009 Mazda CX-7 eastbound on Hess Road, just west of Double Angel Road. Kirby was on his bicycle on the shoulder of Hess Road, also going eastbound.

Young told investigators she looked down to adjust her car stereo, drifted off the road and hit Kirby on his bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ten members of Kirby’s family addressed the court during sentencing, including his three children and his fiancé.

“The car did not veer off the road by itself,” Kirby’s fiancé said in her statement, directed to Young. “You took the life of a beautiful man.”

“Drivers who injure or kill because of an avoidable choice should get more than a slap on the wrist,” Kirby’s stepmother said.

In her remarks, Kirby’s sister noted that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

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