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ValleyRide Driver Charged in Chu Death

First of summer bike deaths to be charged

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ValleyRide bus driver Michael A. Perkins has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor, in the May 19 death of cyclist Jim Chu.

At about 1 p.m. on May 19, the 2002 ValleyRide Freightliner van in which Perkins was transporting another bus company employee, hit Chu from behind as he rode his bike northbound on S. Orchard St. near W. Aeronca St. The 55-year-old Eagle man, a 29-year HP employee and an avid cyclist, died two days later at St. Al's hospital.

It took the Boise City Prosecutor's Office and Ada County Prosecutor, both of whom reviewed the case, more than four months to file charges. Two other cyclists' deaths earlier this summer remain under investigation, as well as the deaths of an elderly couple who were hit and killed while crossing Park Center Boulevard.


View Larger Map Site of May 19 fatal crash.

Perkins worked at ValleyRide from March 25, 2002, to June 8, 2005, and was rehired on June 19, 2006, according to ValleyRide spokesman Mark Carnopis. He is still employed by ValleyRide, though not driving; he is helping the maintenance crew at the Boise station, among other duties, Carnopis said.

Perkins was to be issued a court summons. The misdemeanor charge carries a year in prison and/or up to $2,000 in fines. The court could also order financial support for Chu's two daughters and suspension of driving privileges.