Most people who have spent time in Tucson realize that bicycling is a popular activity and that the town is well-designed to accommodate cycling by those of all ages. Daily ridership makes up a large portion of all rides of the year but special events draw much of the attention. One of these, El Tour de Tucson, has been popular with riders across the state for years.
Annually, El Tour de Tucson draws over 9,000 bicyclists of all ages to participate in the activities. The main race is 107 miles long though shorter routes of 87, 57, and 38 miles are also available. The event requires riders to bike in the street but local police are present at all intersections to make the trip as safe as possible for all cyclists involved and those drivers that happen upon the race.
In the history of El Tour de Tucson, only a few incidents between riders and motorists have occurred and prior to this year, only one was fatal, leading to little need for riders to be concerned about their safety and the need for a bicycle accident lawyer. However this may no longer be the case as another tragic incident occurred that left a cyclist dead in this year’s race.
Authorities believe that a 59-year-old Tucson resident was participating in the race and was riding in a designated bicycle lane marked for El Tour de Tucson on Saturday afternoon when a car driven by an elderly man began to approach. For an unknown reason, the car was traveling in the lane marked for bicycle traffic only and was rapidly gaining on the rider.
The driver collided with the rear of the bicycle ridden by the Tucson man, throwing the bicyclist to the ground and fatally injuring him along a frontage road to Interstate 10 near Sunset. It does not appear that the driver of the car, reported as a Nissan Leaf, was impaired at the time of the collision but there has been no explanation as to why the man was driving in a bicycle lane designated and enclosed by cones.
Though this incident happened during a highly visible bicycling event, many cyclists are struck by motorists every year in Arizona, whether during these types or organized rides or when they are making solo trips for exercise or transportation. Regardless of what day or time of year an accident occurs, Arizona law may provide the victim of such an incident with the ability to bring a civil claim for monetary damages against an at-fault driver or owner of a vehicle. These claims can help an injury victim pay for medical expenses and otherwise compensate him or her for wages the victim was unable to earn while recovering. In the tragic cases where a cyclist is killed, the victim’s surviving family members may be entitled to make a claim for their losses.
If you were involved in an incident while riding a bicycle that left you injured or that claimed the life of your family member, call us today at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and let us provide you with a free telephone consultation. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call so please do not hesitate. Let us help you get a recovery you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Statewide Crackdown on Drunk Drivers to Start This Week, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published November 22, 2013.
El Tour de Tucson rider struck from behind in bike lane, killed, Arizona Daily Star, published November 24, 2013.