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Old 08-16-05, 07:47 PM   #1
anders
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Bicyclist dies in rare head-on crash with another cyclist

http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/8705.0.html

Bicyclist dies in rare head-on crash

By David King, The Associated Press

This report filed August 16, 2005

PLANO, Texas (AP) -- A 52-year-old bicyclist was killed and another seriously injured when they collided head-on on a street frequently used for training and races.

Local cycling enthusiasts were puzzled by the rare head-on accident, which occurred Sunday on a lightly traveled public road.

Both men were wearing helmets, but it wasn't clear how fast they were going, Plano police said.

Michael Mahoney, 52, of Allen, died Sunday at Medical Center of Plano. Jordan Muller, 37, of Richardson, remained in the intensive care unit at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Carl Duke said no charges were filed and the department was treating it as an accident. But he said the case would be referred to the grand jury because a rider died.

Mahoney and Muller were riding in opposite directions on a loop that is used for races each Tuesday evening during the summer and on other days by riders training for the races. Duke said Mahoney was going counterclockwise and Muller clockwise.

The races are always run clockwise, and other riders say most cyclists who train there also go clockwise, but few were ready to blame Mahoney.

"You're still supposed to ride on your side of the road. The bikes were both smack in the middle of the road," said Laura Alton, a Richardson cyclist who has raced the course and said she came upon the scene about an hour after the crash.

The area is popular with racers because few vehicles use the public streets in an undeveloped industrial area.

"You don't think you're going to run into anything," Alton said.

"It's just odd, a strange accident," said Justin Jackson, who works at Richardson Bike Mart and has also raced on the course. "They probably both had their heads down and were really cooking" - perhaps close to 30 mph.

Jackson speculated that the riders may have tried to evade each other but swerved into each other's path.

The accident happened as Muller was completing a long straightaway and Mahoney was coming around a 90-degree turn and on a slight downhill grade. Duke said no one else witnessed the crash.

Muller's family declined to discuss the accident. Muller, a sales vice president at the Garland sales office for a chemical company, suffered a broken thumb, broken arm, broken jaw and other injuries, said his boss, Steve Stephens.

Friends said Mahoney worked at J.C. Penney Co. and was training for the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred race in Wichita Falls later this month. He and his wife have two adult children. A funeral was scheduled for Friday in Allen.

The weekly races in Plano were expected to go on as scheduled Tuesday night. There was talk on Internet forums of starting each race with a silent noncompetitive lap to honor the crash victims.
2005 The Associated Press.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:08 PM   #2
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oh damn
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Old 08-16-05, 09:19 PM   #3
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Good lord, if they were going opposite directions at 30mph, they're smacking each other at 60mph.

Maybe the guy made a u-turn?
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Old 08-16-05, 09:37 PM   #4
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I read that today in my Dallas Morning News paper. That's one of the strangest things I've ever read. Middle of the day, middle of the road, no other traffic. Here was their version:

By PAULA LAVIGNE / The Dallas Morning News

A head-on collision between two bicyclists killed one man and injured another on a popular cycling route in southeast Plano.

The Sunday morning crash had area cyclists buzzing Monday as they exchanged phone calls and posted messages on regional online cycling forums.

Jim Hoyt, owner of Richardson Bike Mart, said he's never heard of a fatal head-on collision in his 50 years of cycling. "We can't figure it out."

One cyclist, 52-year-old Michael Mahoney of Allen, was taken to Medical Center of Plano, where he died Sunday. The Collin County medical examiner's office would not release a cause of death Monday, but a family friend said he died of severe head trauma.

The other cyclist, 37-year-old Jordan Muller of Richardson, was transferred from Medical Center of Plano late Sunday to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. He was in serious condition there Tuesday.

Both were riding road bikes and were wearing helmets, police said.

Nancy and Doug Clark have been friends of Mr. Mahoney and his wife, Nadine, for almost 25 years.

Mr. Mahoney had worked for J.C. Penney since the late 1970s, and both families had been transferred, at different times, by the company from Wisconsin to North Texas.

"He loved his family more than anything, and he had friends that are going to miss him forever," Mrs. Clark said. She said he had started cycling about four years ago after knee surgery forced him to give up running.

On Sunday, he and Mr. Muller were cycling in opposite directions near Wyngate Boulevard and Wynwood Drive in an industrial section of southeast Plano, Plano police Officer Carl Duke said.

Cyclists use the interconnecting streets as a circular route for timed races staged on Tuesday nights and sponsored by Plano Cycling & Fitness.

Mr. Mahoney was cycling counterclockwise on the route and Mr. Muller was riding clockwise, and they hit head-on in the middle of the street.

Race organizer Randy Eller said the races run clockwise, and most people who cycle the course for practice would be going clockwise. They probably wouldn't suspect someone coming from the other direction, he said. However, the course is a series of public streets, and cyclists can ride any direction they choose.

"It's seldom you would see someone going counterclockwise. But it's not like [Mr. Mahoney] was doing anything wrong," Mr. Eller said. Mr. Eller said racing cyclists could reach speeds of more than 20 mph on the course, but police do not know how fast the two cyclists were going at the time of impact.

Officer Duke said a passer-by called 911. Police are investigating the fatality as an accidental death and do not anticipate filing criminal charges, he said.

Laura Alton, a Richardson cyclist who came across the crash scene Sunday, said she was surprised that the two collided on a straightaway where it was likely one cyclist would see another approaching.

"I've just never heard of anybody hitting somebody head-on," she said. "If you're riding on a tour or a rally, you might have a crash, but not just head-on. Everybody's just kind of shocked by, 'Wow, how did this happen?' "

Mrs. Clark said Mr. Mahoney had been cycling in the area before. He was training for the popular Hotter'N Hell Hundred ride in Wichita Falls on Aug. 27.

"It was a big event for him to do the Hotter'N Hell," J.C. Penney co-worker and cyclist Craig Mathew said. "He really did live for it. I'd say, 'Are you going to do the whole thing? The whole hundred miles?' And he'd say, 'Yeah, yeah.' "

Along with cycling, Mr. Mahoney also was an avid fisherman, NASCAR fan and motorcyclist, Mrs. Clark said. He and his wife had two adult children, Thomas Mahoney and Monica Spaulding.

"He liked to do anything at least once," Mrs. Clark said. "He was never afraid of a challenge."

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at St. Jude Catholic Church in Allen.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:40 PM   #5
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I remember a long time ago two people died in a bicycle head on near where I lived. It was on a big hill and happened after dark. Neither had a light and it was in the country so no street lighting. One was going up the hill and the other down unfortunately on the same side of the road. Both ended up with fatal skull fractures.

Knowing that hill I'd guess the guy coming down could have been doing 35-40mph.
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Old 08-16-05, 10:32 PM   #6
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--- There have been two similar collisions in recent years on Highway 101's shoulder. In each accident the bicyclist ran into a parked car. Each cyclist was in the drops, head down; apparently never looking up or expecting a stopped vehicle on the shoulder. No fatalities.
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Old 08-16-05, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
I remember a long time ago two people died in a bicycle head-on near where I lived. It was on a big hill and happened after dark. Neither had a light and it was in the country so no street lighting. One was going up the hill and the other down unfortunately on the same side of the road. Both ended up with fatal skull fractures.
--- So one of them was on the WRONG side of the road. Wrong-way cycling and no light.
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Old 08-16-05, 11:18 PM   #8
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That kind of **** happens at least once a year on the bike path along the ocean that runs from newport beach to seal beach.

I almost nailed a wrong-way'er about a month ago, wouldn't have been head to head though, more like mutual body slams with bikes, what fun - we'd both have lost.
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Old 08-17-05, 09:10 AM   #9
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Is it just that I'm a first year teacher with my first summer off and just have not been reading this forum so much in the past, or have there been a huge number of cycling related deaths this summer?
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Old 08-17-05, 09:11 AM   #10
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This kind of event is not as rare as you may think.

I've been hit head on by another cyclist (damm wrong way rider) and have had many near misses. I've read of a few head ons in my area and have read of others in other areas in the newspaper. There was a there was a thread here a while ago here about a head on in Littleton, Colorado between 2 cyclists on a path where one of the cyclists died (wearing a helmet as well)

Wrong way riding on the street, paths with users going in opposite directions, blind corners and no lighting after dark are ingredients for a recipe of disaster. I see helmets didn't help either.
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Old 08-17-05, 09:29 AM   #11
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Might be rare to die from such a collision, but it happens a lot. Some friends and I were riding along a road in Germany once when a similar crash occurred. Might have been at a race event, but, regardless, bike traffic volume was high that day. Casual cyclist(street clothes, no helmet) coming wrong way down a sidewalk(I think-may have been on the street-it's been several years) and my buddy(riding on right side, possibly on sidewalk) collided head on. Our other friend and I saw the wrong-way cyclist, but said nothing to alert either him or our friend because it was all just too obvious to us. I could've swore they looked right at one another. I guess they were both distracted or something. Neither was hurt seriously, but then it was no training ride and we were all on MTB's. I do enough damage to myself already. I can't imagine running head-on into another cyclist.
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Old 08-17-05, 10:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karldar
Might be rare to die from such a collision, but it happens a lot.
True. Deaths (and even "serious" injury) to cyclists are rare, but collisions are not rare to cyclists. Most collisions result in no, or simple and "minor" injury.
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Old 08-17-05, 11:42 AM   #13
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This forum is a magnifying glass. Anytime someone anywhere in Western Civilization (especially the US) gets killed on a bike, it tends to get posted here. Collisions of any type, while they happen frequently world-wide and get posted here, are rare. Check out this quiz: http://www.bicyclinglife.com/SafetyS...SafetyQuiz.htm and then do the survey and check out the survey results with thousands of responders. Most crashes are just falling over, most collisions are with stationary objects.
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Old 08-17-05, 01:00 PM   #14
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Having looked at the accident scene...the key thing here was that both of the riders were going down the middle of the street. Had either one been holding a position closer to their curb, this accident likely wouldn't have happened.
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Old 08-17-05, 06:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rule
Having looked at the accident scene...the key thing here was that both of the riders were going down the middle of the street. Had either one been holding a position closer to their curb, this accident likely wouldn't have happened.
You don't have to, and I don't advise riding near the curb. However, let's keep in mind someone was riding the WRONG way in the middle of the street with their head down.
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Old 08-18-05, 06:58 AM   #16
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Here's some more detail from a local Texas paper:

Mahoney and Muller were riding in opposite directions on a loop that is used for races each Tuesday evening during the summer and on other days by riders training for the races. Duke said Mahoney was going counterclockwise and Muller clockwise.


The races are always run clockwise, and other riders say most cyclists who train there also go clockwise, but few were ready to blame Mahoney.


"You're still supposed to ride on your side of the road. The bikes were both smack in the middle of the road," said Laura Alton, a Richardson cyclist who has raced the course and said she came upon the scene about an hour after the crash.


The area is popular with racers because few vehicles use the public streets in an undeveloped industrial area.


"You don't think you're going to run into anything," Alton said.


"It's just odd, a strange accident," said Justin Jackson, who works at Richardson Bike Mart and has also raced on the course. "They probably both had their heads down and were really cooking" _ perhaps close to 30 mph.


Jackson speculated that the riders may have tried to evade each other but swerved into each other's path.


The accident happened as Muller was completing a long straightaway and Mahoney was coming around a 90-degree turn and on a slight downhill grade. Duke said no one else witnessed the crash.
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Old 08-18-05, 07:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
Is it just that I'm a first year teacher with my first summer off and just have not been reading this forum so much in the past, or have there been a huge number of cycling related deaths this summer?
Cycling fatalities are relatively rare. I think the USA has about 800 per year. Most of the fatalities could be classified as pedestrians on bicycles. Road cyclists are very seldom killed even though they probably make up by far the most time on the road and most miles ridden. Statistically speaking, it is safer to be on a bike per hour than to be in a car (but it sure does not FEEL that way).
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Old 08-18-05, 08:15 AM   #18
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Also consider that last year alone, bicycles outsold automobiles 19 million to 16 million and the majority of users of those bicycles put in the least amount of miles, have the least experience and get into the vast majority of accidents.
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Old 08-18-05, 08:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
Also consider that last year alone, bicycles outsold automobiles 19 million to 16 million and the majority of users of those bicycles put in the least amount of miles, have the least experience and get into the vast majority of accidents.
Any reference for this insight about whom gets into what kind of accidents - other than very young children are inexperienced by definition?
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Old 08-18-05, 09:42 AM   #20
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Any reference for this insight about whom gets into what kind of accidents - other than very young children are inexperienced by definition?
Yup. Me.

You can take my opinions as one of a crackpot if you like, but I feel I have some knowledge and experience on the topic.

Just MHO.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:51 AM   #21
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Yup. Me.

You can take my opinions as one of a crackpot if you like, but I feel I have some knowledge and experience on the topic.

Just MHO.
I didn't/don't take your opinion(s) as crackpot. I recommend that when you are making up statistical relationships, you clearly identify the result as only your opinion/guess based on your knowledge and experience on the topic.
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Old 08-18-05, 09:54 AM   #22
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Anything I post is based on what I think of a topic based on my knowledge and experience of the topic, that's a given. As is, everyone has different takes on the same information presented to them. We're all different and we can all learn from each other based on our differences.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
Anything I post is based on what I think of a topic based on my knowledge and experience of the topic, that's a given. As is, everyone has different takes on the same information presented to them. We're all different and we can all learn from each other based on our differences.
Then you wouldn't question my sources if I made a silly statement such as - experienced cyclists on road bicycles ride faster than young children, they are therefore more likely to get involved in serious accidents than inexperienced slow cyclists? Iassume you don't place much value in WAG-type opinions.

Your various postings on the overall value of helmets in risk reduction have more credence specifically because they are NOT just your opinion but are based on solid facts and analysis.
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Old 08-20-05, 10:42 AM   #24
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Your various postings on the overall value of helmets in risk reduction have more credence specifically because they are NOT just your opinion but are based on solid facts and analysis.
Thanks for posting that. I think they do too, but I've been questioned so often about the validity of my references (no matter how credible) that I wonder if it's worth posting them and instead, to rely on my past postings for a reader to determine wether or not to trust the claim enough to do their own research into the question and find if my post is true or not for them.
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