Malibu : Guilty Plea in Cyclist Death

A Los Angeles man has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and hit and run charges in the death of Malibu lifeguard Tracy Clarke, whom he hit with his car while she was bicycling with friends on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Danilo Herrera, 20, was sentenced Friday to four years and eight months in state prison by Malibu Municipal Court Judge Lawrence Mira, who also ordered Herrera's driver's license suspended and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.

Clarke was riding along Pacific Coast Highway in the early morning hours of July 29 as part of training for a Canadian triathlon when she was struck from behind by a car driven by Herrera. Police and witnesses said Herrera crossed into the bike path, struck Clarke and then kept driving with the bike lodged under his car. Clarke was thrown about 80 feet and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Herrera was later found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.13, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Wilson, who prosecuted the case. A person is deemed intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.

Herrera had been charged with felony drunken driving and gross negligence and could have received six years in state prison, but those more serious charges were dropped for lack of evidence, Wilson said.

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