On September 19, an avid cyclist and member of the San Diego Bicycle County Coalition was struck from behind by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle in Oregon. Tragically, he died from his injuries a few days later.
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition advocates for cyclists’ rights and the safety of all bicycle riders. The organization helps support local legislation that works to protect all bicyclists, including San Diego’s recent 3-foot buffer zone law.
The victim, 67-year-old Kerry Kunsman, had been a member of the Coalition since 1997, and previously served as the group’s Treasurer. Kunsman was participating in a border-to-border bicycle trip, recording his adventures in a personal blog titled “West Coast Tour 2014.”
Oregon State Police say that the experienced cyclist was wearing a helmet and riding west on Highway 131 at the time of the accident. Around 5:15 p.m., he was struck by a 2011 Ford F-350 and seriously injured.
The 74-year-old driver stopped after the crash, and Kunsman was raced to the hospital. He was flown to a medical center in Portland in critical condition, but died from his injuries early Sunday morning.
A statement on the organization’s Facebook page described Kunsman as “a friend and teacher to [many] and a dedicated family man.” He was officially certified as a cycling instructor by The League of American Bicyclists, and the Coalition awarded him Instructor of the Year in 2006.
Clearly this rider knew how to operate safely, and had years of experience on his bike, but it made little difference in the end. Even experienced cyclists face danger from distracted and reckless drivers, and collisions often lead to serious injury, paralysis or even death.
Bicycle Accident Attorney in San Diego, CA
Bicycle riders are some of the most vulnerable users on the road, due to their low speed and overall exposure. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, talk to an attorney who knows the risks cyclists face and how to protect their rights.
Attorney Joshua Bonnici is an avid San Diego cyclist, and Bonnici Law Group has protected the rights of cyclists for many years. For more information on our firm and bicycle safety, follow Bonnici Law Group on Facebook or Google Plus.
[Did You Know: Cities with high bicycling rates tend to have lower crash rates for all road users.]
Bonnici Law Group, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer