James Robert Gleich charged with manslaughter

James Robert Gleich was jailed yesterday, Eugene police say, on charges of first-degree manslaughter, negligent homicide and reckless driving.

Gleich was driving a car on River Road last Aug. 29 when he hit Mingo Pelkey on her bicycle. Pelkey died shortly after the crash.

Here’s the news release I just got from Eugene Police public information officer Jenna B. McCulley:

James Robert Gleich

Yesterday afternoon at  12:23 p.m. officers from the Eugene Police Department arrested and lodged at the Lane County Jail James Robert Gleich, 53, Springfield resident, on the charges of Manslaughter in the First Degree, Criminal Negligent Homicide, and Reckless Driving in connection with August 29, 2011 death of Mingo Pelkey after a vehicle/bike crash.

On Wednesday, February 22, a Grand Jury at the Lane County Circuit Court heard the evidence presented in the case and moved to indict Gleich.  Officers completed additional investigation and arrested Gleich on Sunday.

* * *

For a list of all posts about the Mingo Pelkey case, go here.

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15 thoughts on “James Robert Gleich charged with manslaughter

  1. That’s so awesome.

    It’s got to be some kind of milestone that somebody in our state is being criminally charged for killing cyclist without police/prosecutors using a DUI or hit and run as the reason to take it seriously.

    1. Jim Gleich is my ex- brother in law he strange then (even before getting hit on the head )
      I pray for that victim and her family.

  2. I am trying very hard to stay calm until I know all the facts. I remember this happening and I have since scoured the news trying to determine what the relevant details of the accident where but to no avail. My understanding is that Ms. Pelkey and Mr. Gleich were travelling in the same direction when Ms. Pelkey switched from the bicycle lane, across the right lane and into the left lane or possible further into the turn lane and was then struck from behind. Was Mr. Gleich speeding? Was he impaired in any way? Did he have an active license at the time?

    Thank you.

    1. What I was able to learn about the collision and how it happened is here:
      https://eugenebicyclist.com/2011/09/25/the-gleich-accidents-what-witnesses-say/
      This is based on a second-hand witness account, so take it for what it is worth. In doing the interviews, and from other information I was able to piece together, the account seemed credible. I have no reason to disbelieve it.

      He was not suspended at the time of the collision. His license was suspended afterward

      1. That certainly brings new light to this situation. Thank you for the information. I wish local news would bother to do such thorough journalism.

  3. This could be a very important case. I’m never happy when someone reaches a point in their life where imprisoning them seems like the best response, but some form of punishment is absolutely needed when careless motoring kills an innocent person.
    I would prefer lifetime revocation of driving privileges along with community service in support of the communities he’s harmed.

  4. with respect Mingo was stopped in a vehicle lane
    . The June and July accidents involving Gleich were prior to the accident involving Mingo
    . Tell me why his license was not suspended after accident number 2?
    His license should have been suspended in July-his ability to drive with sound judgment was up for question then.

    1. According to witnesses in the story, Mingo was exactly where she was supposed to be, waiting in the center lane to turn left, just like the operator of any other vehicle would be.

      …sadly, I think getting people to recognize that the bar should be higher for being licensed to drive a car is even less likely to happen than getting people to recognize that bicycles are vehicles with a legal right to use the roads.

  5. A sincere thank you to your continued attention to this most horrible situation. We appreciate what you have done and it has not gone unnoticed by those who love her.

  6. I too have been following this case being a personal friend of the victim. I am glad to see that he is being held responsible for his careless behavior. If you read the witness accounts and the 2 prior accidents you will be convinced that this guy should never be able to get behind the wheel of a car never again.

  7. This is good, and surprising, news indeed. Looking forward to hearing the outcome of the trial – the sentence in particular. I wonder, if he ends up banned from driving, will he try using a bike to get around town? Or drive illegally.

  8. I always love it when someone suggest that a bicyclist get off the road based on the way they ride. I always want to ask “why would you encourage someone who can’t even ride a bike safely to get behind the wheel of a car?”

  9. The River Road area sucks for bicycling. It is oalttly car oriented. I cross River Road at an intersection w stoplights. Cars turning from Howard street (left) onto River Road constantly cut off Bicyclists in the official crosswalk with a green light for them to cross.I’m trying to get to the River Trail, 9 times out of 10, the left turning car completely ignores & is oblivious to the people in the crosswalk. I just always assume they will not follow the rules of the road, and have not been in an accident as a result. Happened again on Sunday evening, for the zillionth time.2 cars drove through the intersection both coming & going. Wish the cops would be handing out hefty tickets for these not only stupid, but dangerous drivers. Occasionally a car will stop mid intersection, realizing Ooops! The people in the crosswalk have the right of way, but even that is rare.Same deal w the new Stutter Flash Crosswalk signals, just before Maxwell street. I can see the yellow lights flashing 4 blocks away, and yet drivers on River Road just speed on through. At one point I was slowing to a stop in my car & an LTD bus was clipping along behind me, seemingly oblivious to the Stutter Light pedestrian crossing. I turned on my car’s emergency flashers to prevent the bus from rear ending my car into the crosswalk. Even where there is a huge designated crosswalk, Industrial flashing lights, pedestrians sometimes have to take refuge on the middle of the street island , having crossed 2 lanes of traffic going one way, then pause to see IF drivers will actually yield them the right of way. Sometimes one lane/driver does yield, but the other lane (going in the same direction, does not.) What an inexcusable tragedy- how could the driver not even know he’d hit a bicyclist??If he’s that oblivious, he should not be allowed to drive.

  10. I am trying very hard to stay calm until I know all the facts. I emrmeber this happening and I have since scoured the news trying to determine what the relevant details of the accident where but to no avail. My understanding is that Ms. Pelkey and Mr. Gleich were travelling in the same direction when Ms. Pelkey switched from the bicycle lane, across the right lane and into the left lane or possible further into the turn lane and was then struck from behind. Was Mr. Gleich speeding? Was he impaired in any way? Did he have an active license at the time?Thank you.

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