Man charged in 2018 hit-and-run death of York Co. cyclist to serve 4 years in prison

Alexander Crosby .png
Brian Utne (1).png
Posted at 7:55 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 19:55:21-04

YORK Co., Va. - A man charged in the death of a cyclist in York County in 2018 will spend time behind bars.

According to the York-Poquoson Circuit Court Clerk, on May 18, Alexander Crosby was sentenced to 10 years with seven years suspended on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in a vehicle and 10 years with nine years suspended for failure to stop - accident/felony death in the death of Brian Utne.

In total, Crosby will serve four years in prison.

Crosby, then 25 years old, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash that killed 50-year-old Utne, who was riding his bicycle on Lakeside Drive at Yorkville Road in October 2018.

A few days later, they arrested Crosby's boss, Robert Strickland, and charged him with misdemeanor accessory after the fact, misdemeanor obstruction of justice and felony concealing or compounding evidence (B).

Court documents show that Strickland was Crosby's employer at Heritage Gardens Tree and Lawn Care Service.

Police report that Crosby hit Utne while driving a work truck after leaving a nearby job site. Documents said Crosby left the scene, then called Strickland.

When 61-year-old Strickland found out what happened, he said he "would take care of it," according to court filings. Documents state that the two then met later in the night to assess the truck's damage.

It was then that court records show Strickland had the vehicle towed away and repaired.

Court records also indicate that authorities used jailhouse phone calls, a tip to crime line and interviews with other employees at the tree care service company to make the arrests.

Friends and loved ones told News 3 Utne loved riding his bicycle. No matter what time of day or temperature, they said you could find him on the roads.

Utne was a ride leader of multiple community bike rides, and the bicycling community held a memorial ride in his honor on November 3, 2018.