What are the details of the accident that killed the pedestrian? The article doesn't mention that crucial bit of information.
I am philosophically opposed to cycling on sidewalks; bicycles belong on the road. However, that doesn't prevent me from doing so if I feel it's the only safe option.
In mega-suburbia, where the through roads are few, high-speed, and heavily traveled, and where almost no one walks, I view the wide, deserted sidewalks as a low-rent MUP. Closer to the center of town, it's almost always easier and safer to ride on the street, but on those very rare occasions where using the sidewalk becomes necessary, I ride at close to walking speed (<4mph), and if there are more than 2-3 people on the sidewalk in any given block, I will even get off and walk the bike for a bit. (Riding on the sidewalk is legal where I live.)