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Family of Durham Hit and Run Victim Launches Letter Writing Campaign

Published On: Dec 06 2012 03:22:02 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 07:04:55 PM CST

Photo of Rick Magee.

DURHAM, Calif. -

The family of a Durham man who was killed on his bicycle after a hit and run is launching a letter writing campaign.

61-year-old Rick Magee died at Enloe Hospital last month when 71-year-old Anton Mardesich from Gridley drifted into the bike lane on the Midway and hit Magee from behind.

California Highway Patrol reports document that Mardesich was traveling northbound on the Midway in his company's SUV. He looked down at the center console for a brief moment and when he looked up again he noticed Magee on his bicycle. Mardesich said he turned his SUV in an attempt to avoid hitting Magee, but struck him with the right front corner of his vehicle.  Mardesich then fled the scene.

In an effort to give the community a voice, the family of Rick Magee is urging people to contact the court to express their views on the crime, the defendant, and a future penalty. The letters will be brought forward before sentencing on February 22nd.

Friends and family of Rick Magee sent out this statement in response to the arraignment and plea of Anton Mardesich:

"The driver who killed Rick Magee--our friend, neighbor and loved one--had every opportunity to do the right thing.  But he passed up those opportunities and continued to make matters worse with a series of criminal acts.  He left the scene of the accident, failed to report a fatal injury, filed a fraudulent insurance claim (after learning Rick had died), and then tried to tamper with the evidence.  These are serious aggravating circumstances that we believe warrant the maximum possible penalty being imposed.   We appreciate the many kind gestures of support from the community and would urge our friends and neighbors to contact the court to express their views.  Letters can be sent to the Butte County Victim-Witness Assistance Center, Hon Judge James Reilley, 25 County Center Dr., Oroville, CA 95965.   --Friends and Family of Rick Magee"