Bicycle advocates turned out in force Wednesday for courtroom appearances by two men accused of killing cyclists in drunken driving accidents near Santa Rosa earlier this month.
"We really want to see justice be done," said Martin Clinton, president of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club.
Dozens of cyclists, some wearing bike apparel and carrying their helmets, attended court hearings for Harvey David Hereford, 69, and William Michael Albertson, 46.
"We're going to follow these cases very closely," said Christine Culver, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.
Hereford, an attorney from Oakmont, is charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving. Authorities say he ran into Alan Liu of Mountain View and Jill Mason of Cupertino, who were riding on Highway 12 on April 11.
Liu, 31, was killed and Mason, 26, was seriously injured in the collision.
Albertson, a parolee from Lake County, is accused of hitting Daniel O'Reilly, 43, of Sonoma on Mark West Springs Road on April 19. Albertson pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges including vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving.
Prosecutors said he was involved in a minor hit-and-run accident less than an hour before O'Reilly was killed.
Albertson is being held without bail at Sonoma County Jail. Hereford has been free on $60,000 bail, but Judge Robert Dale on Wednesday ordered his bail increased to $200,000. Hereford was taken into custody until he could post the additional bail.
He remained in Sonoma County Jail on Wednesday evening.
Dale said investigative reports say Hereford was driving on an expired license and was extremely intoxicated when he was arrested for allegedly hitting the two bicyclists near Pythian Road.
Deputy District Attorney William Brockley asked for higher bail, arguing Hereford is a "grave risk" to the public. The level of alcohol in Hereford's system on the day of the crash was more than three times the legal limit for driving, according to authorities.
Hereford's attorney, George Englar, said his client has "an exemplary record" as an attorney and isn't a flight risk. Englar said Hereford's bail should be no more than $100,000.
Dale set a preliminary hearing in the case for May 17. Hereford earlier pleaded innocent to the charges.
Highway Patrol officers said Hereford's car swerved and struck the bicyclists from behind. Liu, an engineer at a Silicon Valley high tech firm, died at the scene. Mason, who works at a Silicon Valley engineering firm, suffered severe head and back injuries.
She is in serious condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Family members said she may be transferred to a rehabilitation center in Santa Clara County in the next few weeks.
Culver said O'Reilly, a husband and father of two girls, was an avid cyclist and volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition.
"He was really wonderful," she said.
CHP officers said he was riding home from work at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates when he was struck and killed near Riebli Road.
Emergency personnel responding to the crash scene said Albertson was belligerent and appeared to be drunk.
But Albertson didn't say anything about hitting a bicyclist, they said. A firefighter then discovered O'Reilly's body a short distance from the road.
The level of alcohol in Albertson's system was later measured at almost three times the legal limit for driving, authorities said.