SAN ANTONIO - A man charged with criminally negligent homicide for the October 2009 deaths of two cyclists was found 'not guilty' Friday afternoon.
Gilbert John Sullaway, 43, was on trial for the deaths of Greg and Alex Bruehler. The couple was riding a tandem bicycle near Helotes on Highway 16 when prosecutors say Sullaway veered his pick-up truck onto the improved shoulder and struck and killed them. Sullaway could have faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
The state argued Sullaway had failed to maintain his lane, had not kept a lookout, and was speeding when he hit the couple.
However, Sullaway's defense attorneys argued the accident was not a crime and he was not speeding.
"I would like to give condolences on behalf of my family to them and their family. My thoughts and prayers are with them daily and will continue to be with them daily," Sullaway tearfully said after the verdict.
Loved ones described him as a law-abiding citizen who was part of a tragic accident but he did not commit a crime.
He declined to comment further.
Gary Bruehler, Greg Bruehler's father, said he believed their deaths amounted to a crime and said the verdict was "unfortunate." He also believes the verdict sends a bad message to the cycling community.
"I think society is doing away with responsibility and saying, 'It's not my fault. It was an accident.' That word is way overused. An accident could be prevented," Gary Bruehler said.
He says he had hoped Sullaway would have gotten probation or had his license revoked. The Bruehlers left behind a now-10-year-old daughter Kylie, who is being raised by her relatives.
"She's getting ready to be baptized. For her baptismal gift, she's getting a little cross that will have ashes from her mom and dad. That happens later this month," Gary Bruehler said as he choked up.