“At this point, there is only probable cause for the DUI first offense,” … “The rest of the incident is under investigation. There has been no determination at this point for fault in the fatality.
Kenneth Najarian left his Charlotte home at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday to take a bicycle ride before he and his wife were scheduled to host friends for dinner around 6 p.m.
“He said he was going for a quick bike ride, and he would be back,” Krissi Najarian said. “But he wasn’t back.”
The guests arrived. There was no answer when Krissi Najarian called her husband. Worried, she and her two children left their guests at the house to look for the missing doctor.
“I couldn’t find him anywhere,” Krissi Najarian said. “I was afraid he went into some tall brush. That’s when I came upon the accident scene.”
Najarian, known as Ken, a radiologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, was struck by a car and killed at about 5:50 p.m. Wednesday. Police say the driver, Holly Gonyeau, 36, of Ferrisburgh, was drunk.
Najarian became the third cyclist killed on Vermont roads in two months.
Gonyeau’s southbound 2013 Chevrolet Cruze sedan hit Najarian, 60, as he was riding south at 872 Greenbush Rd. in Ferrisburgh, the Vermont State Police said. Najarian died at the scene.
Gonyeau, the wife of 15-year veteran Williston police officer Keith Gonyeau, was cited on a charge of first-offense driving under the influence. She is scheduled to appear June 29 in Vermont Superior Court in Middlebury.
It was unknown whether she has retained a lawyer. Most times the defense lawyer becomes known after a criminal charge is filed in court. A man who answered a phone call Thursday evening to a Ferrisburgh listing for Gonyeau and her husband said the number had been changed some time ago.
The road on which Najarian was killed was part of his regular biking route and had little traffic, Krissi Najarian told the Burlington Free Press on Thursday.
“He always felt safe,” she said.
That road is a wide-open straightaway with plenty of field of vision, said Susan Rand, president of Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations.
Gonyeau’s preliminary breath test showed a 0.123 percent blood alcohol content, police said. Adult drivers are presumed to be under the influence at 0.08 percent.
“It’s unfathomable to imagine how many lives are destroyed because of that one action,” Krissi Najarian said. She added that she hopes the woman responsible will “go to jail for a very long time.”
Gonyeau was spared arrest and jail custody after the crash Wednesday because she was cited on suspicion only of first-offense drunken driving. The protocol for that charge is to cite and release the suspect, said Scott Waterman, a state police spokesman.
Vermont has a crime of DUI resulting in death, but so far that allegation has not been used in this case.
Bicycle-car crash victim was UVM radiologist