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Sudbury, MA triathalon participant hit, killed by truck

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Sudbury, MA triathalon participant hit, killed by truck

Old 05-17-15, 09:12 PM
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RussB
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Sudbury, MA triathalon participant hit, killed by truck

SUDBURY, Mass. —A bicyclist participating in a triathlon was killed after a collision with a truck in Sudbury Sunday morning.

The fatal crash occurred at Maynard Road and Hudson Road at around 9 a.m. on the course of the Sudbury Spring Sprint Triathlon which was being run Sunday morning.

Saadin Solah, 53, was killed in the collision with a GMC pickup truck. His hometown was not released by officials.

Race organizers at the Sudbury Spring Sprint Triathlon confirmed Solah was a participant in the race.

The driver of the truck remained at the scene and is cooperating with police.

Bill Fiske, the race organizer, said he is devastated by the death.

"It's sad, it really is sad, there is no need of it," Fiske said. "I had a crying spout there for a half hour or so, and it's going to continue. I feel pretty bad, I never lost an athlete before."

Fiske said other riders told him the victim lost control of the bike before the crash.

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown tweeted that he participated in the triathlon, and that his thoughts were with the victim of the crash.

"Just finished the triathlon in Sudbury, Mass. Terrible head on collision. Prayers are with the racer and his family," Brown tweeted.

Sudbury triathalon participant hit, killed by truck | Local News - WCVB Home
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Old 05-17-15, 09:14 PM
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From the little I've read, it appears to have been a head-on collision, with the cyclist crossing over into the truck's lane.
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Old 05-17-15, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
From the little I've read, it appears to have been a head-on collision, with the cyclist crossing over into the truck's lane.
My condolences to all involved. A guy lost his life and the truck driver may be scarred for life.
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Old 05-18-15, 12:39 AM
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Something similar happened this weekend in California. A guy doing a double century ride was hit by a truck. This time it looks like the cyclist didn't stop at the stop sign on the fast rural highway.

Bicyclist killed during race in Dixon - SFGate
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Old 05-18-15, 12:49 AM
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My condolences to the family.
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Old 05-18-15, 08:04 AM
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Condolences to friends and family, but a question.

Who is insane enough to run an organized race on open roads? If the budget or other factors keep you from properly securing a race course, you have no business running the event.
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Old 05-18-15, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Condolences to friends and family, but a question.

Who is insane enough to run an organized race on open roads? If the budget or other factors keep you from properly securing a race course, you have no business running the event.
It reads as though the cyclist left the course and went into a lane that was open for traffic... not sure.

Here we see when race courses are set up, often racers get one lane on a multi-lane road... and MV traffic is served, albeit slowly, through the use of other lanes... even just half of a roadway. So while a course may be closed, there might also be MV traffic in an adjacent lane separated from the course by traffic cones and the like. The race course participants have to be sure to stay on the assigned race course.

We just had a Bridge Run over a local bridge... half of the bridge was still open to MV traffic. This bridge happens to have movable barriers that are used daily to change the width of the bridge for the commute traffic. But other areas just use traffic cones to close parts of roads while leaving the rest open to MV traffic. You can see cones being used on the bridge to divide the traffic lanes for in and out flow.

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Old 05-18-15, 08:50 AM
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I did a little research on the different news reports. This triathalon has been an annual event for 26 years. It does not state if the roads were closed or not for the race, but it was implied that there were no vehicles traveling the same direction as the racers.
One report states than "another racer saw he lost control of his bike in a turn (possible from sand). Another report states that the cyclist lost control of his bike and was airborne before crossing the center line and colliding with the pickup truck.
In my opinion if a road is to be used for a race, it should be closed for ALL vehicles during the event. If it had the cyclists would have not been at risk of hitting a moving vehicle. And the outcome would have been very different.

Hopefully all racing venues will learn from this incident, and make their races safer.
I have the family of this racer in my prayers.
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Old 05-18-15, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Who is insane enough to run an organized race on open roads? If the budget or other factors keep you from properly securing a race course, you have no business running the event.
For better or worse, that's how most racing is organized at a local level.

Originally Posted by RussB View Post
In my opinion if a road is to be used for a race, it should be closed for ALL vehicles during the event. If it had the cyclists would have not been at risk of hitting a moving vehicle. .
As a TT'er, we do all our races on open roads with race marshalls at intersections. I've never done a tri, but I assume the rules for the bike portion are similar (no paceline, drafting etc). If we had to close roads, the event would go from something that costs $25 to enter to something that would cost $250 or more. Racing is risky, and I'm sorry for the racer's family, but in those situations it's the racer's risk if he loses control of his machine. Racing is not a risk-free activity and participants need to know that. If someone wants the luxury of a closed course, they should look at Gran Fondo's etc. and be prepared to pony up.

Edit: IMO, running a TT through the center of a town is "unwise" to say the least.
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Old 05-18-15, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
....
Edit: IMO, running a TT through the center of a town is "unwise" to say the least.
The course didn't go through the center of town - not even the "center" of town from a couple of centuries ago.

They went around the block - twice.

These are roads I know way too well, so I'm not saying much more.

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Old 05-19-15, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Condolences to friends and family, but a question.

Who is insane enough to run an organized race on open roads? If the budget or other factors keep you from properly securing a race course, you have no business running the event.
Agreed!

Feasibility and cost cannot be the deciding issue where safety is involved.

Here's a link to the route: Sudbury Bike Course in Sudbury, MA, United States | MapMyRide. The route was run clockwise and the accident took place in the extreme southeast corner at the right turn from Route 27 South onto Hudson Road West.

This was a slight downhill grade into a fairly sharp right turn onto a fairly busy road. To do this on a casual bike ride ... no problem; to do it in a race ... much too dangerous.

This same race management organization ran a triathlon in my town last year and a cyclist was seriously injured by a left-hook. I'm not blaming the race organizers but maybe racing on open roads just doesn't make sense. A driver in a large SUV passed the racers on a downhill on a very busy road. The driver then stopped to let an oncoming car make a left turn in front of him. The cyclist couldn't see the left-turning car and the driver of the left-turning car couldn't see the cyclist. The cyclist was hit broadside. No one broke the law.

We cyclists need to take a serious look at whether racing on open roads should be permitted. Perhaps, given the right route design, races on open roads can be made safe enough ... or perhaps not. Until we have better data, I would shut them down.
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Old 05-19-15, 08:32 AM
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I've ridden through Sudbury a number of times, including a few weeks ago. That's really scary to think that happened. Condolences to family, friends, and the injured/deceased. Stay vigilant fellow BFers.
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