Puyallup pastor struck by DUI woman while biking to help the homeless has died — (Seattle Bike Blog)

SSRI Ed note: Woman on antidepressant runs a stop sign, fatally injuring a retired pastor.

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Seattle Bike Blog

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by Tom Fucoloro

Eric Renz had just finished preparing food at one homeless services location and was biking to another to help out there when Kallie James allegedly blew a stop sign and struck him. We reported about this terrible collision last week.

KIRO 7’s Terry Griffin now reports that Renz has died of his injuries. He was 66. Our deepest condolences to his friends, family and the whole Puyallup community.

The Pierce County Prosecutor announced that James will be charged with vehicular homicide. She’s scheduled to appear in court December 16.

According to court documents, which we posted in our previous report, James was allegedly told police that she could not feel the pedals. Responding officers performed field tests and determined that was “under the influence of a drug” and was not in a safe state to drive. She blamed her inability to feel the pedals on an antidepressant she was taking, but then she also apparently admitted to smoking marijuana.

She was originally charged with vehicular assault while Renz was in the hospital on a ventilator. Now that he has passed, assault will change to homicide.

Renz recently lost a campaign for the State House of Representatives to the Republican incumbent Hans Zeiger. Renz, who had retired from being a minister, ran on a platform in part based on reducing the tax burden on the poor through a more progressive taxing system, fighting climate change through a carbon tax and increasing funding for transit and bicycling.

For him to die while serving the homeless and riding his bike is just heartbreaking. It seems he really was someone who lived the values he taught and promoted in public.