Driver convicted of killing German motorcyclist in Steamboat dies
August 13, 2014
Steamboat Springs — The driver who was found guilty in July of killing a German motorcyclist last year died Tuesday at a Denver hospital.
According to a death notice submitted by Scott Penfold's family, Penfold suffered from small cell cancer in his lungs, liver and colon.
The question of whether Penfold's health caused him to swerve into oncoming traffic July 2, 2013, near the Steamboat Springs Community Center on U.S. Highway 40, was a key question during Penfold's trial last month.
Testimony during the trial showed that Penfold reported experiencing a tingling feeling before the accident. He also suffered from diabetes and had a slightly elevated blood sugar count and elevated heart rate, but none of those issues supported the conclusion that Penfold blacked out, Judge James Garrecht determined.
“Neither the EMT, the emergency room doctor, (n)or the defendant’s physician could find any medical evidence that would support the conclusion that the defendant blacked out,” Garrecht wrote in his ruling.
Penfold was found guilty of careless driving resulting in the death of Fels Bernhard. He faced a jail sentence of between 10 days and one year.
Penfold was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but that sentencing was delayed after a July 25 request from Penfold's attorney, Drew Johnroe. In that request, Johnroe wrote that Penfold was considering asking for a new trial because of newly discovered evidence. Johnroe stated Penfold was incapacitated and had been tentatively diagnosed with a genetic liver disease, with symptoms that included lightheadedness and heart palpitations.
Johnroe did not return a message left Wednesday seeking comment. A family member refused to comment. District Attorney Brett Barkey said his office was not prepared to comment on the case until they get formal confirmation of the death.