Santa Rosa, CA – September 18, 2019 – Defendant Courtney Michael Rudin, 75 year-old of Healdsburg, was sentenced today by the Honorable Barbara Phelan to 36 months of supervised probation and 60 days county jail after being found guilty at a jury trial on August 22, 2019. The jury returned a verdict of guilty to the charge of vehicular manslaughter under California Penal Code section 192(c)(2).
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This case has always been about holding Mr. Rudin responsible for his negligent actions that resulted in the tragic death of Amy Suyama. Hopefully, this sentence will provide insight both to the defendant and the public at large that all of us who share our roads have a duty to keep the lives and safety of our fellow community members paramount, regardless of our chosen mode of transportation.”
The charges resulted from an incident on September 10, 2016, at approximately 11:00 a.m. in which Rudin was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck southbound on Eastside Road. At that location, Eastside Road is a two lane highway with one lane going southbound and one lane going northbound. The southbound lane of Eastside Road is bordered by a dirt shoulder, whereas the northbound lane does not have a shoulder at that location. Rudin entered the northbound lane attempting to pass a slow moving grape truck and observed two cyclists, Amy Suyama and Andrew Dean who were participating in the annual Tour de Fuzz charity ride, coming towards him in the northbound lane at a distance of approximately 200 feet.
Despite observing the oncoming cyclists who had the right of way, Rudin continued to drive southbound in the northbound lane and was unable to complete the passing maneuver prior to coming upon the two cyclists. As a result of Rudin’s negligent actions during this passing maneuver, both cyclists were taken to the ground and Amy Suyama was run over by the defendant’s pick-up truck and died due to the blunt force trauma she suffered.
The case was prosecuted by DDA David Kim of the District Attorney’s Vertical DUI Unit. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The California Highway Patrol headed the investigation.