Cyclist demand district attorney appeal charges in biker's death

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With signs in hand, members of the Philadelphia cyclist community marched to the district attorney's office in Center City demanding action.

They are outraged that a judge dismissed charges against the driver who killed cyclist Emily Fredricks in November of 2017 along 11th and Spruce streets.

"I think it sends a terrible message that they will never be held accountable, no matter what they do if they kill a person who is riding a bicycle or crossing the street," said Sarah Clark Stuart with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

The group is pushing the D.A. to appeal the judge's decision and move forward with pursuing charges of vehicular homicide against the driver, Jorge Fretts. He was driving the garbage truck that hit and killed Fredricks.

Her family members showed up to the rally.

"My niece Emily is missed every second of the day. Our family is devastated by her loss and it's especially difficult because of the tragic and preventable way in which she was killed," said Jill Fredricks- Brown.

This cry for justice didn't go unnoticed. Just minutes after the cyclist gathered, a representative with he D.A.'s office showed up and announced they would appeal the case and refile charges.

"In this particular case, the driver violated multiple laws and we believe that rose to the level of recklessness, which makes it a crime under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we plan to pursue that vigorously," said Anthony Voci.

Those who showed up left pleased to hear that D.A. is not giving up the fight.

Many say the judge's ruling is a black eye for the cycling community.

They say their plea to the D.A. is about more than just Emily, but also about driver accountability and protecting the lives of everyone riding bikes.

"It angers me and it breaks my heart. This was a big one for us. We need them to see, that we are not obstacles in the road we are people too," said Rebecca Jumangit of Port Richmond.

Prosecutors have 30 days to appeal the ruling.
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