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Charges filed against driver in bicyclist death

January 24, 2014

The Orange County district attorney's office last week filed a misdemeanor charge against the driver of a minivan involved in a Newport Beach traffic collision that killed a bicyclist this summer.

Robert Anderson was driving west on East Coast Highway just east of Newport Coast Drive on the afternoon of Aug. 27 when he and the cyclist collided, Newport Beach police said at the time.

Anderson, 84, lives in Irvine, according to public records.

The cyclist, Debra Deem, 58, of Laguna Beach, suffered major head trauma despite wearing a helmet, police said.

Paramedics took her to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where she died the next day.

In the charging document filed against Anderson on Jan. 17, prosecutors say he made an unsafe lane change that caused Deem's death.

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The charge, vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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