Vermont Radiologist Dies After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver While Cycling

| by Mackenzie Fleming

A radiologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center left his home in Charlotte, Vermont, on June 17 for an evening bike ride from which he never returned.

Kenneth Najarian and his wife Krissi Najarian were scheduled to host a dinner for friends at 6 p.m. on the night Krissi’s husband, known as Ken, was killed.

“He said he was going for a quick bike ride, and he would be back,” Krissi said. “But he wasn’t back.”

Her husband had left their home shortly before the planned dinner for a bike ride at about 5:20 p.m. Krissi says she became worried when their guests arrived and there was no answer from her husband.

According to WCAX, the 60-year-old was riding his bike in the road when he collided with a car.

Police have named the driver of the vehicle that killed Kenneth as Holly Gonyeau, 36, of Ferrisburgh, Vermont. Police say Gonyeau was driving drunk with a blood alcohol content level of 0.123 when she collided with the cyclist in her 2013 Chevrolet Cruze sedan. The legal definition of being drunk is a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Ken died at the scene.

Instead of being charged with DUI with death resulting, when she was cited into court, Gonyeau received the less severe charge for a first offense driving under the influence. Reports say the Gonyeau was spared arrest and jail custody because the protocol for suspicion only of first-offense drunk driving is to cite and release the suspect.

Vermont police say their investigation of the cause of the crash has yet to be completed.

Ken became the third cyclist killed on Vermont roads in two months, according to Burlington Free Press.  His wife told the Burlington Free Press the road on which he was killed was part of his regular biking route and had little traffic.

“He always felt safe,” she said.

Gonyeau, the wife of 15-year veteran Williston Police Officer Keith Gonyeau, is scheduled to appear in Vermont Superior Court in Middlebury, June 29.

“It’s unfathomable to imagine how many lives are destroyed because of that one action,” Krissi said. She says she hopes that Gonyeau will “go to jail for a very long time.”

Sources: Burlington Free Press, WCAX
Photo Credit: UVM College of Medicine via Burlington Free Press