Thursday, September 28, 2023

Remember that driver in the deadly hit-run of a cyclist in York County? Here’s what he admitted to

Alexander Michael Crosby (WYDaily photo/Courtesy of Henrico County Sheriff's Office)
Alexander Michael Crosby (WYDaily photo/Courtesy of Henrico County Sheriff’s Office)

A Barhamsville man has pleaded guilty to two felonies for his role in the October 2018 death of Brian Utne, a bicyclist who died after being hit while cycling on Lakeside Drive in York County.

Alexander Michael Crosby, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter in vehicle and failure to stop at a crash causing injury or death, according to York-Poquoson Circuit Court records.

Prosecutors also dropped a misdemeanor reckless driving charge against Crosby.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Oct. 22.

Police arrested Crosby Nov. 10, 15 days after he hit Utne just after 7 p.m. Oct. 25. A York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office spokesman said the arrest came after multiple interviews and tips from the public.

Court records also show Crosby has multiple vehicle-related infractions in his driving history.

Another defendant in the case, Robert Lee Stickland Jr., 61, has not yet been to trial. He is scheduled for a two-day jury trial starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.

The vehicle driven by Crosby at the time of the hit-and-run was a work vehicle for Heritage Gardens Tree and Lawn Care Specialists belonging to Strickland, authorities have said.

At the time, Crosby was employed by Strickland’s company.

According to court records, interviewees told investigators Strickland went to the scene of the crash after receiving a call from Crosby.

Robert Lee Strickland Jr., 61, was arrested in connection to the death of Brian Utne on Oct. 25 in York County. (WYDaily/Courtesy VPRJ)
Robert Lee Strickland Jr., 61, was arrested in connection to the death of Brian Utne on Oct. 25 in York County. (WYDaily/Courtesy VPRJ)

Strickland was at the scene of the crash and helped “conceal evidence” by having the vehicle towed and repaired, according to court papers filed in the case.

Authorities arrested Strickland Nov. 15 and charged him with misdemeanor accessory after the fact, misdemeanor obstruction of justice and felony concealing or compounding evidence.

Utne’s death caused York County cyclists to come forward with safety concerns on the roads.

Cycling routes and sidewalk availability are regularly discussed during comprehensive plan updates in York County, planners have said.

County boards and commissions are currently looking ahead to infrastructure improvements and what can be done in the “big picture,” but some local groups have turned their focus more seriously toward the issue.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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