Many bicyclists are understandably wary of riding their bikes on a busy road, preferring to ride on designated bike paths to protect themselves from accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, there are times when the bike path can’t protect bicyclists from irresponsible and dangerous drivers.
On Tuesday night, a California man was commuting home from work on his bicycle when he was suddenly struck by a sport utility vehicle that had gone out of control on a nearby freeway and careened onto the bike path. A second man was seriously injured in the bike-auto accident, and the driver of the car also suffered minor injuries.
The accident occurred when a 27-year-old San Diego woman was driving eastbound on SR-56 just past the Camino del Sur exit. Traveling at approximately 70 miles per hour, she attempted to change lanes. After seeing a vehicle in her destination lane, she jerked her steering wheel in the opposite direction, overcorrecting her vehicle off the freeway completely.
Because it was traveling at such a fast speed, the SUV managed to travel up a 15-foot grassy embankment and drive through a chain-link fence before it overturned on the nearby elevated bike path. As it flipped over, it struck two men who were riding their bicycles on the path.
One man, a 40-year-old married father of two from Poway, was pronounced dead at the scene. The second bicyclist, a 51-year-old Solana Beach man who is the CEO and president of YMCA of San Diego County, suffered grave injuries including broken hips ribs and arms. Both men were wearing helmets at the time of the accident. They did not know one another, but simply happened to be biking near each other when the crash occurred.
Source: Sign On San Diego, “SR-56 bike victim was biotech executive,” Susan Shroder, 1 June 2011