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Pickup Driver Charged In Bike Crash

August 19, 2010, 5:50 PM by Perry Groten

Pickup Driver Charged In Bike Crash
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Police say the Sioux Falls man arrested in a deadly truck-versus-bicycle crash told investigators he "blacked out" and doesn't even remember the collision.

Kevin Rogers, 49, was riding his bike west on 57th Street near Galway Avenue during the evening rush hour Wednesday when police say an eastbound truck suddenly swerved into him, but he may not have seen it coming.

Rogers died at the scene. 

David Julius Bendt, 42, of Sioux Falls was behind the wheel and ended up in a retention pond. His memory of the crash, police say, was clouded by a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Prosecutors say Bendt was under the influence of both anti-depressants and alcohol when he crashed his truck into bicyclist Rogers. Bendt told police he blacked out just before the crash.

"He doesn't remember the collision or the impact until the first responders were there helping him get out of the vehicle," Lt. Jerome Miller of the Sioux Falls Police Department said.

Prosecutors say Bendt was going between 35 to 40 miles-an-hour when he hit Rogers. Police say Rogers was wearing a helmet and reflective gear. But the setting sun may have kept Rogers from seeing the truck coming at him.

"You wouldn't have been able to look directly ahead very long even with sunglasses on.  It was pretty intense so he was probably looking down for enough ahead to maintain his straight path that when the pickup came across it would be our belief that he didn't see it coming, " Miller said.

The impact of the crash threw Rogers from the street beyond the sidewalk, a distance of about 50-feet.

Prosecutors say some of the medications Bendt had been taking before the crash were to control his alcohol cravings.

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