Report reveals cyclist killed in crash was impaired — (WCAX)

SSRI Ed note: Man on high dose of 3 antidepressants hits cyclist, police judge him impaired, he dies in collision.

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Posted:Oct 09, 2015 5:18 PM EDT 

By Jennifer Costa

FERRISBURGH, Vt. – It was an evening bike ride that turned deadly for a prominent radiologist back in June. Ken Najarian, 60, briefed his wife on his route, but he never returned home. He was killed on Greenbush Road in Ferrisburgh after his bike collided with Holly Gonyeau’s car.

Since then, the case has drawn considerable scrutiny from the public. Police say Gonyeau was drunk. Two hours after the crash she had a blood alcohol content of 0.087 and admitted to taking prescription Xanax. In July, she was charged with DUI, but not Najarian’s death.

“We don’t believe it had a role other than she was impaired, but as far as the collision itself it didn’t have a factor in this,” Vt. State Police Lt. Garry Scott said July 21.

A state police crash reconstruction team concluded the doctor was at fault. Troopers say Gonyeau’s car and Najarian’s bike were both headed south when Gonyeau allegedly crossed the center line to give Najarian space as she tried to pass. At the same time, police say Najarian made an abrupt U-turn into Gonyeau’s car.

New information now shows Gonyeau was not the only one under the influence. Through a public records request, WCAX News obtained an amended crash report filed this week with the DMV. It includes toxicology results that show Najarian was on three different antidepressant medications at the time of the fatal crash. Police determined the doctor was impaired because the drugs in his system were above the normal therapeutic level.

But Jerry O’Neill, a lawyer for Najarian’s family, tells WCAX News he doesn’t buy the conclusion and he released the following statement: “We have no reason to believe that Dr. Najarian was impaired at the time he was killed. An expert, such as a toxicologist, should determine the effects of medications rather than a state trooper expressing his personal opinion. There’s not the slightest reason to believe the medications Dr. Najarian was on contributed to his death.”

Gonyeau is due back in court on the DUI charge Oct. 26.