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Charity bike ride in California ends in tragedy

People in the San Diego area may know about the Pedal the Cause charity bike ride, in which hundreds of cyclists participate at various locations around the country in order to raise funds for cancer research. The San Diego Pedal the Cause event, which took place last month, was a rousing success that attracted a large crowd of participants. Unfortunately, however, the event was marred when a bicyclist sustained serious injuries when she was hit by a pickup truck.

The accident occurred around 9:45 in the morning on Route 67 in Poway. The biker, a woman in her 30's, was apparently riding between groups of riders, and was by herself when a Dodge pickup truck and a Volvo sedan sideswiped each other as they drove alongside the hapless biker. The car collision sent the pickup truck hurdling into the biker's path, in turn knocking her off the bike and inflicting serious injuries.

Both the driver of the truck and the Volvo claimed they never saw the cyclist, and the truck driver even claimed he didn't even know he had hit someone in the incident. The two cars continued to drive up Route 67 until a police helicopter located them and, with the help of the California Highway Patrol, detained the two drivers.

Police are still investigating the bicycle accident, but charges were not immediately filed. In this case, the driver of the truck, and potentially both vehicles, could be held liable for the damages and injuries the victimized cyclist endured.

It is scary that a biker can be seriously injured by a much larger vehicle that isn't even aware of the biker's presence. Cyclists should always do their part to practice good safety techniques and increase their visibility as much as possible, but it's also up to cars to have good biker awareness when they share the roads.

Source: U-T San Diego "Cyclist severely injured in SR-67 crash," Pauline Repard, Oct. 26, 2013

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