Tragedy on Highway 119: Family Mourns Cyclist, Rejects Plea Deal


The parents of a 17-year-old cyclist are speaking out after the motorist charged in their son’s death turned down a plea agreement.

Magnus White, a cyclist, was killed on the paved shoulder of Highway 119 in the afternoon of July 2023. Before the collision, he was prepared to compete with the United States Cycling National Team in the mountain bike world championships.

Yeva Smilianska, 23, is the motorist suspected of hitting the young kid. She is charged with careless driving that resulted in vehicular murder in connection with White’s death. She informed investigators she had automotive difficulty, but they found no mechanical problems with the vehicle.

Instead, detectives believe Smilianska fell asleep at the wheel, citing her claim that she had only slept for a few hours the night before.

White’s parents said in a statement that it has been eight months since their son died, and they have regretted the time they missed with him as well as all the milestones he could have achieved.

“It hurts emotionally and physically as we continue to confront every day without Magnus,” the message went on to say. “We are not surprised that the driver chose not to enter a plea at this time and instead filed an application to extend the proceedings. It just delays the case’s resolution and prolongs our agony. Each court appearance brings us back to the day Magnus was slain.

” The pair urged the court to view White’s death as a crime rather than an accident, claiming that Smilianska snatched his future and “irrevocably destroyed our lives.” Smilianska secured a $100,000 personal recognizance bond in December and is set to appear in court again on May 24.

White’s family formed The White Line, a non-profit organization, to advocate for safer cycling settings and honor their son’s memory.

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