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Patrick Ward, Cyclist Critic, Gets 8 Years for Killing One

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Update: Patrick Ward has been sentenced to eight years in jail in cyclist Michel Van Duym's death. Continue for our previous coverage.

Original post, 10:16 a.m. January 8: Lyons resident Patrick Ward very publicly complained about cyclists in his hometown.

Now, he could spend as long as twelve years in jail after pleading guilty to taking the life of cyclist Michel Van Duym — by running him over after drinking.

We first told you about the now 72-year-old Ward's arrest in May 2013 — meaning that nearly three years will have passed by the time Ward receives his sentence on Monday, January 11.

Back in 2010, as we reported, Ward was extremely critical of attempts by Lyons to make the community even more cycling-friendly, saying at one point, "These people don't belong in Lyons. They certainly don't belong in the foothills around Lyons."

This last quote is from "PCDC Gets an Earful," a 2010 article in what is now known as the Left Hand Valley Courier about a meeting of the town's Planning and Community Development Commission.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

Pat Ward took the dais next, and voiced his frustrations with the wording in the Comp Plan, which spoke to promoting and enhancing the use of bicycles in Lyons. Ward noted that if the riders were to be afforded the rights of an automobile driver, then they should be expected to obey the rules of the road. He cited numerous instances he had witnessed when "gangs" of bicyclists disobeyed signage, lights, and impeded traffic flow, and he questioned why Boulder County Deputies failed to issue tickets to the offenders.

Ward didn't have a spotless road record himself. He was busted for driving under the influence back in 1975.

Nonetheless, Ward continued to express antipathy for cyclists in public forums. He reportedly took part in a series of meetings dealing with a ten-year plan for Lyons that promoted cycling; they happened in March, April, May, June, and July.

At such get-togethers, one of his themes is said to have been the problems presented by cycling and cyclists.

Cut to the afternoon of May 11, 2013, when Van Duym, a 46-year-old sales representative at GHX, a health-care-related firm in Louisville, was riding his bike on Lyons' Main Street when an SUV driven by Ward struck and killed him.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that three booze bottles were found in the center console of Ward's ride and he admitted to drinking two beers before taking the wheel.

As such, prosecutors planned to try him on vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, driving under the influence per se and prohibited use of a weapon.

But in January 2014, he was declared incompetent to stand trial — a judgment that wasn't reversed until earlier this year.

Rather than go through the court process, however, Ward struck a deal, admitting to vehicular manslaughter in exchange for the other counts being dropped.

When he's sentenced on Monday, he could receive a maximum sentence of twelve years, the Camera notes.

Meanwhile, Lyons continues to be a favorite spot for cycling in Colorado and beyond.

Here's a larger look at Ward's booking photo.

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