Driver accused in SLO cyclist’s death faces felony manslaughter charge

A Templeton man who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist earlier this month is facing a felony manslaughter charge, according to San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.

Mark Hedges, 59, is charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence after the CHP said he struck 47-year-old Jose Martell of San Luis Obispo head-on while illegally attempting to pass a vehicle over double-yellow lines.

The Dec. 3 collision happened on Old Creek Road east of Highway 1 near Cayucos.

Dow said his office sent the criminal complaint to San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Wednesday.

According to a CHP investigation, Hedges was driving east on Old Creek Road past Montecito Road in a 1995 Toyota Tacoma when he crossed double-yellow lines to pass another pickup in front of him.

As Hedges drove into the westbound lane to pass, he did not see Martell traveling toward him, and the two collided head-on, the CHP said.

Hedges stopped, pulled to the shoulder and was cooperative; Martell was thrown from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said.

Dow said his office has asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for Hedges.

Mark Powell: 805-781-7915