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Driver who killed Utah bicyclist pleads guilty to misdemeanor, D.A. wants law revised

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Posted at 10:02 PM, Aug 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-22 00:02:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The 79-year-old driver who hit and killed a bicyclist in Millcreek Canyon quietly pleaded guilty to a class "B" misdemeanor.

That conviction would land David Bertleson, the driver from New Mexico, up to six months in jail.

Bertleson struck 60-year-old Anthony Quinn, a third district court judge, while the victim was biking up the canyon in May of 2013.

Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill said such a light sentence undermines the fact Bertleson took a human life.

"There are these rare, tragic situations where we need to be able to have some proportionality of accountability that is consistent with a loss of life," Gill said. "That was really a deficit [in the law] that we saw, unfortunately as a result of this case."

Gill said he hopes the Utah legislature will consider revising the law during its next legislative session.