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Driver charged in death of bicyclist in Federal Way
Vehicular homicide charges were filed against a driver who struck and killed a bicyclist last month in Federal Way.
SeaTac resident Dara Keo, 30, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Sept. 12 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. He is being held on $250,000 bail. A case setting hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.
The fatal collision occurred just before 11 a.m. Aug. 30 in the 28600 block of Military Road South. Witnesses told police that Keo was swerving on the road in his Honda Civic while traveling southbound. Keo was driving on the shoulder of the road when he slammed into a bicyclist, according to police documents. The impact knocked the victim off his bike and into the middle of the center two-way turn lane.
Kent resident Craig B. Cronister, 44, suffered severe injuries to his head, neck and body. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center and later died at 1:03 a.m. Aug. 31. A memorial service was held Sept. 8.
Keo was arrested at the scene for investigation of vehicular assault and was booked into King County Jail.
According to the police report, Keo had a hard time maintaining his balance, and was also slurring his speech and going through mood swings. Keo allegedly told a Federal Way police officer at the scene that "most people would have run away, but I stayed and checked on 'her' to see if 'she' was OK."
According to documents, Keo passed a breathalyzer test with a .000 blood alcohol content (BAC). However, the officer believed Keo was under the influence of drugs. Keo admitted to the officer that he was a habitual user of marijuana and prescription drugs like Percocet, Oxycodone and Suboxone.
A warrant was obtained for a sample of Keo's blood, and results are still pending with the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.
Keo has no known criminal history, although he was caught driving without insurance or a valid license in 2008, according to documents, which noted that he received a valid driver's license in October 2012.