Crime

Cyclist struck, killed in Blaine hit and run; suspect arrested

A bicyclist was killed in a hit and run Thursday evening, Jan. 22, on a truck route near a border crossing in Blaine.

Douglas O. Benton, 53, of Blaine, was riding a green Murray one-speed cruiser bike around 5:30 p.m. when he tried to cross SR-543 almost diagonally, to the northeast, at the intersection of H Street in Blaine, according to a witness who spoke to state troopers. H Street is about a half-mile south of the Pacific Highway border crossing into Canada.

The driver of a Ford Ranger had a green light to go north, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis. The truck hit the cyclist in the intersection, then kept going north.

Benton died at the scene. He didn’t have a helmet on, Francis said, and he had been wearing dark clothes. The intersection is lit by streetlights.

Moments after the crash the truck was seen going west on D Street, a quarter-mile north of the intersection. A witness said the truck should have damage to its front end.

Close to three hours later a man, Andrey Kirichkov, 26, of Blaine, walked up to a state Department of Transportation worker still at the scene and said he needed to turn himself in, according to the state patrol. Troopers said he looked and acted sober. Kirichkov told them the truck was at his house.

“As far as why he fled,” Francis said, “we’ll find out if and when he talks to detectives.”

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