“Unfortunately it takes something bad like this to happen to learn that you can’t be doing this. It was just a very tragic accident, that’s the bottom-line.”
Madison County (NY) Undersheriff John Ball talking about the conditions Thursday evening when a bicyclist was struck from behind and killed by a motorist. Reported by Utica Observer-Dispatch, Jan. 14, 2011.
The bicyclist, Harold Closson, 50, was riding his bicycle down the road at about 5:40 p.m. Thursday when he was struck by a 22-year-old driving a truck heading in the same direction.
According to the article, Ball said the roadway was “very dark,” and the road was slippery due to icing and light snowfall. The bicyclist was wearing dark clothing, but the article said nothing about whether he was displaying front or rear lights or reflectors.
The newspaper reported:
“Ball said this was an example of the risks that come along with riding a bicycle in the roadway during the winter months.” Then followed the quote about “… you can't be doing this.”
The newspaper said that no tickets have been issued, but the crash is under investigation. However, it sounds like the police (at least this undersheriff) already have put the blame on the bicyclist for the crash because he was on the road in the first place.
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but motorists must be alert at all times, winter or summer, daylight or nightfall.
As pointed out by blog reader from New York, state law requires that a vehicle overtaking a bicycle from behind “shall pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear…”