Man faces jail for crashing into NZ cyclist

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 13:11 17/10/2012
tdn tork
ROBERT CHARLES
Taranaki cyclist Michael Torckler.

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The driver of the car that seriously injured  Taranaki cyclist Michael Torckler in California in June has pleaded no contest to charges against him.

Arthur Ben Yu, 36, of Rohnert Park, north of San Francisco,  could be jailed for more than 10 years for the four felonies - hit-and-run, reckless driving causing injury, car theft and possession of stolen property, the Press Democrat reported. Yu also pleaded to a misdemeanour count of driving without a licence.

Yu fled the scene after dropping off a passenger to help Torckler, who had shattered facial bones and a broken arm and hand.

Torckler was riding downhill on the winding road when he was struck by Yu as he rounded a turn.

Yu was arrested at home after a roommate phoned police.

The car, a 1996 Honda Accord, was stolen from Yu's father a month earlier, prosecutors said.

Torckler spent 12 days in hospital. He testified in court about the incident but was unable to identify the person who hit him.

Five people have died in crashes between cars and bicycles in Sonoma County since May.

Torckler had signed with the Bissell pro racing team  just weeks before the crash.

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