Police recommend felony charge for driver who hit cyclist in Scottsdale

Scottsdale police are recommending a felony charge of “causing death by use of a vehicle” against a driver who hit and killed a cyclist in north Scottsdale on May 23.

Authorities also are recommending a misdemeanor charge against Matthew L Stryer for driving on a suspended driver’s license.

Cyclist Michael (Miodrag) Milovanovic, 48, was on a training riding ride when he was hit by an SUV operated by Stryer, police said.

Stryer’s GMC drifted over the white line on Happy Valley Road when he slammed into Milovanovic, who died from his injuries at the hospital, police said.

Stryer’s driver’s license from another state was revoked or suspended, a police report said.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide whether to bring charges against Stryer. A spokeswoman for the county attorney said the case is under review.

Ben Dodge, Arizona bicycle accident attorney, said the recommended charges represent a “tremendous step in the right direction” for the criminal justice system.

“I always feel that cyclists never get a fair shake in this system and that in 9 out of 10 cases, many charges that can be brought against a driver are in fact not brought at all,” he said. “It is a disappointing and tragic state of affairs when it comes to justice and accountability for drivers against cyclists in our current legal system.”

Dodge said the recommended charges likely would be a class 3 felony, which could bring a prison term of three years and six months.

“He wasn’t charged with an aggravated crime; however, there may be some facts in the case later that pop up showing it aggravating circumstances,” Dodge added.

The police report said Stryer had “unknown distractions” when he crossed into the median and hit Milovanovic. Impairment was not a factor, the report said.

At the time of the collision,  Milovanovic was eagerly looking forward to a high school graduation celebration for his son, Matt, a state champion Brophy College Preparatory swimmer. His daughter, Mimi, recently completed her freshman year at Loyola University on a full ride track and field scholarship. He also leaves behind a wife, Suzi, and hundreds of friends.