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Woman Charged With Homicide in Death of 17-Year-Old Cyclist Magnus White

Police said that 23-year-old Yeva Smilianska was 'most likely' asleep at the wheel when she crashed into a promising 17-year-old cyclist in July.

magnus white deathYeva Smilianska, 23, has been charged with vehicular homicide in the July death of 17-year-old cyclist Magnus White, left; (photos/USA Cycling and Boulder County Jail)
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A 23-year-old woman has been charged with homicide for the death of a teenage cyclist earlier this year.

Boulder resident Yeva Smilianska faces a charge of vehicular homicide for the death of 17-year-old Magnus White, who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bicycle in July. The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Smilianska had been arrested and taken to the Boulder County Jail, according to a news release.

White was a promising young cyclist who had earned a spot on the U.S. Mountain Bike World Championships team. According to a police investigation, Smilianska was “asleep at the time of the crash.” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said White’s family deserved justice for his tragic death.

“The life of Magnus White was cut tragically short,” Dougherty said. “His death is devastating for his family, friends, and the cycling community. Our office is committed to fighting for the right outcome.”

Smilianska was scheduled to appear before a judge on Wednesday for her initial hearing. If convicted, Smilianska faces up to 6 years in prison.

Magnus White carrying a bicycle
Magnus White was a promising off-road rider for USA Cycling; (photo/USA Cycling)

‘Very Little Sleep’

Smilianska received “very little sleep” the night before White’s death on July 29, according to a 14-page arrest affidavit detailing the police investigation.

She reportedly stayed up until 6 a.m. at a friend’s house in Longmont, Colo. On the morning of White’s death, Smilianska texted a friend 20 minutes before the crash that she was “falling asleep” and then started the half-hour drive to Boulder.

At about 12:33 p.m., Magnus White was struck by a vehicle while cycling southbound on Colo. 119, known as the Diagonal Highway.

The collision took place just south of the 63rd Street intersection. That’s where Yeva Smilianska, driving a Toyota Matrix, veered from the right-hand lane onto the shoulder, colliding with White’s Trek Model Emonda SL 7 bicycle, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gabriel Moltrer. Several witnesses reported seeing Smilianska’s vehicle veer onto the shoulder before the collision.

White was ejected from his bicycle and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. At the time of the incident, Smilianska was the sole occupant of her vehicle. Colorado State Patrol also found no evidence of steering problems with the vehicle or that Smilianska had used the brakes before colliding with White.

Smilianska said that she didn’t see White before the incident and experienced a sense of mental haziness during the collision, according to the affidavit.

In a statement shared with The Denver Post, Magnus’s family said they accepted the charge filed against Smilianska.

“Smilianska willfully and consciously chose to get behind the wheel of her car, engaging in reckless driving behavior that resulted in the fatal collision into our son Magnus who was struck from behind and ejected from his bicycle,” White’s parents wrote in a statement.

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