Driver who killed cyclist may have been texting

EVERETT — Police believe a driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in Everett in October may have been texting on a cell phone before the crash.

The man’s pickup reportedly was southbound on Evergreen Way on Oct. 17 when it crossed all northbound lanes and struck the bicyclist, a power pole and several parked cars. It happened about 7:15 p.m., just south of SW Everett Mall Way.

Killed was Trent Graham, 30, an Everett father and artist on his way home from his job at a Lynnwood-area bicycle shop.

The driver, 56, of Kirkland, has not been charged.

Everett detectives expect the investigation to take at least several more weeks, officer Aaron Snell said Tuesday.

Police impounded the man’s cell phone at the emergency room after the crash, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

A firefighter had used the phone to contact the man’s family from the ambulance, the warrant says. The firefighter at the time told police he saw text messages from the time of the crash.

Witnesses at the scene also told police they saw the man looking down at his lap and back up before the crash, the warrant says.

The police have since obtained a judge’s permission to search the phone and retrieve usage data. The results of that search weren’t detailed in documents filed in court Tuesday.

The driver reportedly told detectives that he lost control of his truck after another vehicle cut him off.

Surveillance video from the area doesn’t support the claim, police wrote.

Detectives don’t believe the man had a medical or other problem that caused him to lose consciousness, or that he fell asleep, according to court papers.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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