Driver in Silt motorcycle wreck faces vehicular homicide
District Attorney Jeff Cheney has filed felony charges of vehicular homicide against David Paul Cavaliere, a 36-year-old driver involved in a March 20 wreck that killed two motorcyclists.
He was initially facing charges including misdemeanor careless driving causing death.
Cheney declined to comment about what information led prosecutors to file stiffer charges.
Reports came in the evening of March 20 of a crash near First and Main streets in Silt. A Tan Ford Explorer struck two motorcyclists while making a left turn from Main onto First.
When police arrived, they found one motorcycle under the front of the SUV, while the other lay on the SUV’s passenger side.
The driver said he was heading into Silt after having worked all day and his air bags went off when he made a left turn, according to an affidavit. He told officers that he never saw the motorcycles, that their headlights were off.
Witnesses, however, reported seeing the motorcycles with their headlights on. One witness driving behind the motorcycles said their speed would have been about 35 mph, the same speed she was traveling.
A driver behind the SUV prior to the crash did not notice any erratic driving or speeding.
Investigators also determined that the headlights were on by inspecting the motorcycles themselves.
The officers talking with Cavaliere did not see any signs that he was impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
Officers also found that Cavaliere’s SUV had been at Harvey Gap that day, based on the parking pass on his windshield. Officers also found a half-empty bottle of whiskey between the driver’s seat and console.
When officers tried to get in touch with Cavaliere a couple days later to get his side of the story he was “very uncooperative and evasive,” according to a police report. He also refused to come to the station, prompting officers to request an arrest warrant.
He is scheduled to be in Garfield County district court for arraignment on June 13.
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