Hit-and-run driver who asked cyclist to pay for damage arrested

Hit-and-run suspect arrested

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The driver who struck a Washington bicyclist on a cross-country fundraising trip, then drove off after demanding money from him, was arrested Wednesday after she returned to the scene of the crime.

Natalya Zakhariya, 49, was charged with one felony count of Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver.

Polcie say Zakhariya had returned to the crash site on the Historic Columbia River Highway with a friend, possibly to gather some sort of evidence against the man she hit.

Somehow, her car ran over her passenger. 

The deputy called to the accident was the same one who responded to the hit and run yesterday. He identified and arrested Zakhariya.

Meanwhile, Craig Spiezle, her victim, has resumed cycling from Oregon to Maine to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s in memory of his late father.

Portland to Portland - A Ride with Purpose

“Seeing a loved one go through that is a huge impact on your life,” he said.

Spiezle’s 3,800-mile ride started Sunday in Astoria. By Tuesday morning, the 60-year-old had reached Corbett.  That's where he was clipped by a passing car.

“I shattered the passenger mirror,” he said.  “The bike must’ve scraped down and put a crease in the side of the car.”

Spiezle says the driver stopped. She even helped him clean up the bruises on his arm and leg.

“Then she looked at her car and said she wanted $200.”

Spiezle suggested they call police to straighten things out, but the woman took off. Other cyclists managed to snap photos of the driver and her car before she bailed.

“Obviously accidents can happen and the good news is she stopped," he said. "But why did she take off?”

While Spiezle plans to use what happened as inspiration to pedal forward, he still wanted the driver captured.

“We need to be held accountable and responsible for what we do,” he said.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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