Friday, June 17, 2011, long-time Boulder resident Christopher Loven, 45, struck and killed a cyclist in Lefthand Canyon. Loven was driving westbound (uphill) and began making a left onto Olde Stage Road. He failed to yield to the cyclist, Eugene Philip Howrey, 73, who was descending Lefthand. Howrey collided with the right side of Loven’s Kenworth dump truck and was killed.
Soon after the initial incident, Boulder’s Daily Camera reported Loven had been involved in a road-rage incident involving a cyclist in 2009. Loven was convicted of a misdemeanor (reckless endangerment) after the cyclist/defendant and eye witnesses established he’d used his truck to force the cyclist into oncoming traffic — in the vicinity of Lee Hill and Olde Stage Road.
As the case garnered more attention, especially within cycling circles nationwide, yet another cyclist has come forward to report an altercation with Loven. Jim Mohan, 43, formerly of Boulder, but now residing in Baltimore, Maryland, was involved in an altercation with Loven in 2003, according to police reports.
Mohan and a friend, a former Olympian in cycling, Hugh Walton, 56, were cycling near 47th and Valmont when Loven ran them off the road, again in a large truck. Mohan and Walton were forced into a ditch — in which Walton crashed. Mohan remained upright and pursued Loven, catching him at an intersection. The two exchanged words.
“He was yelling at me, ‘You fucking cyclists, you think you own the road!’” remembers Mohan.
Mohan later moved in front of the truck to take down the license plate number and call the police. According to Mohan, at that moment Loven “slipped the clutch” on the truck, lurching towards him. Mohan fell backwards on his bike, landing on his back in the road.
He then demanded Loven exit the truck, which he did. The pair continued their argument and Mohan eventually threw a punch, hitting Loven in the face.
“At that point, he proceeded to beat the shit out of me,” Mohan says. “The guy’s 6’3″, 220 lbs!”
The police arrived moments later and broke up the fight.
Walton testified that as the police separated the two, Loven said, “You’re lucky I didn’t waste you.”
“The people who witnessed it,” explains Mohan, “All they saw was me throwing the first punch. We didn’t have any witnesses who saw him run us off the road or him popping the clutch in the truck.”
In court, Walton verified the sequence of events, but Loven had a friend in the cab of his truck who contradicted Mohan’s story. In the end, both Mohan and Loven were cited for public brawling and that was the end of it…until this summer.
“As soon as I saw the article, I recognized his name,” says Mohan. “Loven. He did the same thing to me and Hugh (Walton), but it was our word against his. The DA wouldn’t believe and now this happens.”
Requests for the accident report from the Colorado State Patrol have as yet gone unanswered, but I’ll post more information as I get it. I’ll contact the DA’s office to get the charges, if any, against Loven.
Loven is a graduate of Boulder High (class of 1984) and lists his higher education as the “school of hard knocks 2009″ on his Facebook page. He’s the owner of Power Earth Excavation and Septic Systems, located in Boulder.
As Boulder County has become more crowded, cyclist-motorist incidents have naturally increased. Accidents are bound to happen, but Christopher Loven has established a long history of negative incidents with cyclists. He’s now killed someone. I’ll get more details and see if we can’t share our thoughts with the DA and city government in an effort to both make sure Loven is charged appropriately and to ensure future repeat offenders don’t slide through the system…and end up “wasting” any more cyclists.