Sioux Falls, SD
One month after a deadly car-bicycle accident, the driver of the SUV who struck and killed Natasha Adams of Sioux Falls is issued tickets.
The Minnehaha County State's Attorney's office reviewed the case and didn't press charges against 26-year-old Terra Zahn of Sioux Falls. But now police have issued two tickets to Zahn for allegedly breaking city traffic laws.
A memorial still stands at the site where 22-year-old Natasha Adams lost her life last month along 49th Street in Sioux Falls.
On July 16, Zahn was pulling out of a parking lot near 49th Street and Kiwanis Avenue in her SUV. Police say Zahn was looking to turn west on 49th Street while Adams was riding eastbound on the sidewalk. The two collided, killing Adams.
"The driver of the SUV has been issued two citations; one of them was failure to use due caution and another one was failure to yield from a private drive," Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.
The Minnehaha County State's Attorney's office declined to file charges noting that no state laws were broken in the case. But when the case was then turned over to the city attorney's office for review, tickets were issued against Zahn for violating city laws.
"The times when we have a loss of life or serious injury, there's not necessarily going to be enforcement that's taken on the spot because they are going to investigate that fully to make sure they have everything covered, know as much as they can to tell what happened in the crash and determine charges from the point and time," Clemens said.
The crash was one of several in recent weeks in the Sioux Falls area. The memorial for Adams at the site is also a reminder about the importance of bicycle safety.
"Anytime we investigate accidents, we're not looking to punish people or to send a message. We are looking to see if there are any violations of either state laws or city ordinances and that was the case here," Clemens said.
Zahn has to appear in court for the citations this Friday.