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.