Driver gets three years for killing Ben Sonntag

Mountain bike pro's family travels from Germany to Durango for the sentencing.

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Pro racer Ben Sonntag was killed last March while out riding near his home of Durango, Colorado. This week, the driver who hit him, Cordell Schneider, was sentenced to three years in prison.


Schneider was convicted of vehicular homicide by Sixth Judicial District Judge William Herringer. Aedan Hannon of The Durango Herald reported on the sentencing. Herringer said that he avoids sending people to prison, but the crime warranted it, Hannon reported.

“I’m going to send you to prison, in part, because I want to see if that shakes you in a way that you really begin to truly get what has happened here,” Herringer said.

Sonntag’s parents and brother traveled from Germany to Durango for the hearing, which was also attended by Sonntag’s girlfriend and friends.

“Our sadness is never ending and our tears just won’t dry,” Sonntag’s father Klaus Sonntag said.

On the day Schneider hit Sonntag, he was allegedly driving 65mph in a 35mph zone on a dirt road. He was arrested, but then while out on bail was involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash in July, from which he tried to flee on foot.

Read Hannon’s full story on The Durango Herald.