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Triathlete Manslaughter Case Begins

November 17, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) _ Jury selection began Monday in the case of a father whose teen-age son was driving a car that killed world-class triathlete Judith Flannery.

Ronald Rinehart, 38, faces nine charges ranging from manslaughter to driving while intoxicated in connection with the crash last April that killed Flannery, 57.

Prosecutors said Ronald Rinehart had been drinking, and though he was not driving, he is responsible because his son did not have a driver’s license or permit. Prosecutors also allege the elder Rinehart grabbed the wheel from his son just before the crash.

Ronald Rinehart of Rockville could face up to 18 years in prison and $8,000 in fines if convicted on all charges.

Rinehart’s 17-year-old son, Timothy, was convicted earlier this month of reckless driving and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Prosecutors have said Timothy Rinehart swerved onto the wrong side of the road at least four times before the collision with Flannery, who was on a training ride in Seneca, Md. with two other bicyclists.

She was hit so hard she crashed through the car’s windshield and struck the teen’s father, who was in the front passenger seat.

When asked Monday if they had heard about the case, nearly all of the 150 potential jurors had.

Flannery, a mother of five, was a four-time world triathlon champion and six-time U.S. triathlon champion in her age group.

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