Man pleads to charges in fatal Phoenix bicycle accident after attempting to trade vehicle during Cash for Clunkers program

A man who tried to trade his vehicle in during the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program to hide evidence of its involvement in a fatal Phoenix bicycle accident has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

The Associated Press reports the defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with evidence. The charges stem from an Aug. 8 crash, which claimed the life of a 52-year-old cyclist who was riding with lights and reflectors.

The Phoenix New Times reported the 23-year-old defendant was driving a 1992 BMW when he struck the cyclist shortly after midnight on a Saturday night. The accident happened at the corner of Cave Creek Road and Mountain Gage Pass Road. The cyclist was killed and the defendant left the scene of the accident.

Police said a fog light from a silver 1992 BMW was found at the scene and investigators determined the car must have sustained significant damage to the passenger side. The defendant attempted to trade the car in the next morning to take advantage of the government’s Cash for Clunkers program; he told personnel at the dealership he had struck a javelina.

The dealership contacted police and the defendant was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with evidence.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports nearly 2,000 Arizona bicycle accidents occurred in 2008, injuring 1,682 riders and claiming 19 lives.