Relatives of cyclist John Colvin, killed by a motorist in a collision in North Laguna two years ago, read statements that struggled to capture the enormity of the loss they endure during a court hearing on Monday, Oct. 5.
The hearing in Superior Court in Santa Ana was for Dylan Thomas Randluby, 20, of Emerald Bay, charged in February with felony hit and run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in Colvin’s death on June 17, 2014.
At the hearing, Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzpatrick proposed the defendant accept a reduced one-year sentence in county jail, which was not immediately accepted by Randluby’s defense attorney, Jan Christie. She did not return phone calls seeking comment.
If the offer is rejected at another hearing set for Monday, Oct. 19, the case will go to trial. If convicted, Randluby faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.
“I so desperately don’t want this to go to trial,” said Joan Marcus-Colvin. Though she expressed dismay at the leniency of the court’s sentencing offer, Colvin said she would prefer to avoid re-experiencing the pain produced by a recounting of the circumstances that led to her husband’s death.
“I was so angry at trying to put down in writing the loss we’ve endured because it’s so immense,” said Colvin, who read a statement on behalf of herself and her daughters, Natalie, 23, and Shayna, 20, who are both enrolled in college. Nevertheless, in her statement she asked the court to hold Randluby accountable for his actions.
Court records show Randluby was cited previously for speeding and traffic offenses.
At an earlier preliminary hearing on July 21, prosecutor Stephen Roy Cornwell called witnesses to support the charges of negligence and hit and run. He said witnesses described seeing Randluby’s car drift out of traffic lanes and flee a mile from the collision with his head out the window because of a cracked windshield before stopping when witnesses who chased him pulled alongside. Colvin died at the scene.
Asked what evidence was introduced to explain why the collision occurred, Cornwell said, “we could only guess at that. If we had evidence, we might have proved gross negligence,” Cornwell said, which would have added a second a felony charge.
Cornwell said a cell phone was retrieved from Randluby’s car and it had been recently used. “It wasn’t part of our evidence,” Cornwell said.
On the day of his death, Colvin, 55, was training for his second Ironman triathlon.
His widow and their two daughters led a street-safety protest in Laguna Beach in the weeks after his death that prompted renewed efforts to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian accidents and improve crosswalk safety.