GPS Watching Trucker Charged in Accident Death
The Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney has filed vehicular homicide charges against a Reno truck driver for his role in the death of a bike rider in 2018.
After an investigation by the Washington State Patrol and Walla Walla Police, 60-year-old John H. Mehlschau will face the charge. Authorities say he was driving his commercial vehicle near 9th.Street and West Alder on January 18 of last year.
The investigation showed Mehlschau was looking at his GPS for an extended period of time and blew the red light at that intersection. 61-year-old Ramiro Trevino of Walla Walla was riding his larger bike-style tricycle and entered the intersection with the green light. He rode into the side of Mehlschau's truck causing fatal injuries. Authorities say it was a very fast-occuring wreck, in a matter of seconds.
Officials levied the vehicular homicide charge because of the amount of time Mehlschau was looking at his phone, as well as running the light, and not taking into account road conditions.
Mehlschau has entered a plea of not guilty, his trial has been set for October 1st.