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New Analysis: Teen Biker Fell, Wasn’t Hit by Deputy

Spokane County Sheriff's Office

Spokane Valley teenager Ryan Holyk died a year ago in May while riding his bike. Initially, law enforcement thought Holyk was run-over by deputy Joe Bodman, but new analysis suggests Bodman’s car never hit the teen.

Newly released re-construction video from Forensic Video Solutions plays out like this: a patrol car and a truck driving Sprague Avenue in different lanes, Holyk enters the crosswalk, then falls, and Bodman’s car swerves to misses him. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says Holyk would have seen the truck a few lanes away first, and tried to avoid it.

Knezovich: “And Ryan, it appears, tried his best to get stopped and when he did so he went down over the handlebars and hit his head. The reconstruction shows very clearly that Ryan was already down before the deputy’s vehicle ever reached the intersection.”

Holyk was not wearing a helmet and his major injuries were isolated to his head. Knezovich showed me a photo from after the wreck, pointing out neither Holyk nor the bike had injuries you would expect from being hit by a speeding car.

Credit Spokane County Sheriff's Office
The reconstruction video was made from a combination of actual surveillance footage, street dimensions, and speed calculations.

Whether or not Bodman did hit Holyk, the deputy remains under Administrative Investigation by the sheriff’s office. He was going 70 miles per hour without his lights or siren on, speeding to assist another deputy.

Knezovich says he wants to clarity the sheriff’s office did not request the video. The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team, SIRR, has been in charge of the investigation and requested accident re-construction from three separate parties. In January the county prosecutor’s office announced it wouldn’t file criminal charges on Bodman, based on the reconstructions.

Knezovich says there’s a reason Deputy Bodman initially admitted to hitting the biker.

Knezovich: “Because it happened so very quickly and when it looked back there was a kid laying in the street. And in his mind the only possible solution to that would have been ‘I must have hit him.”

At least one group in the community thinks the reconstruction is a cover-up. The Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club said on Facebook it will video deputies who drive at high speeds with no lights, and throw volleyballs at their vehicle. Knezovich says that would lead to their immediate arrest.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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