SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Police Department is recommending that motorcyclist David Medzyk, of San Luis Obispo, be charged with a misdemeanor for reckless driving as a result of an incident in which he struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk with his motorcycle at Osos and Higuera streets on Sept. 2.
The victim, identified as LeiYahna Jefferson, was hit in the left leg by the motorcycle; she did not report sustaining any serious injuries. Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney will review the San Luis Obispo Police Department’s investigation and determine what, if any, charges will be filed.
In addition to recommending a misdemeanor charge against Medzyk, 59, citations are being issued to pedestrians Josephine Amarachi and Artemisia Shine. Both were standing and walking outside the crosswalk area and were obstructing vehicle travel lanes at the same time and near the same corner where Medzyk struck Jefferson. California Vehicle Code requires pedestrians outside a crosswalk to yield the right‐of‐way to vehicles so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. A citation is a written ticket. It may require a traffic court appearance and or payment of a penalty for the violation.
Following the incident, Medzyk drove to SLOPD and filed a report claiming those in the crosswalk attempted to knock his motorcycle down. SLOPD reviewed videos of the incident taken by bystanders and concluded that the videos and other evidence do not depict any physical interaction between the pedestrians and the motorcycle, other than when Medzyk’s motorcycle hit Jefferson as Medzyck accelerated around the corner and through the crosswalk.
“The pedestrians present and involved provided different descriptions of the situation than the motorcyclist reported to SLOPD. To resolve the conflicting versions, we asked the public to come forward with other video or photos of the encounter and are thankful for the few that did. We carefully reviewed various videos and photos provided to SLOPD frame by frame to get the most complete perspective possible and determine who was at fault. In addition, our investigation involved interviews with several eyewitnesses and, the victim Ms. Jefferson, checking with surrounding businesses for surveillance footage that would have captured the incident, and a careful review of all videos and photographs provided to the San Luis Obispo Police Department,” said SLOPD Capt. Jeff Smith.
“SLOPD supports the rights of peaceful protestors to exercise free speech in a safe and lawful manner. Motorists have a duty to use due care for the safety of pedestrians while operating their vehicles and it is a crime to fail to do so. It is also dangerous and a violation of Vehicle Code to stand or walk in uncontrolled vehicle travel lanes. It is imperative that both motorists and protestors be extremely careful and follow the laws meant to protect pedestrian and driver safety. The safety of everyone in our community is our most important goal,” Smith added.