Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MS150 Tragedy

A local teenager died on the MS150 bicycle tour over the weekend. According to this report and another in the Tulsa World, he was waved through the intersection by one of the volunteers. At this point, of course, the cause is undetermined as the police continue their investigation, so I'm not going to speculate as to whether the volunteer is to blame.

But for all of us traveling on two wheels there's an inescapable lesson. We must look after our own safety. We cannot depend on others to do so. On a group ride, if the leader yells, "Clear!" and rides through the intersection, every rider behind him is still responsible for his own safety. If a volunteer waves one of us through an intersection, we are still responsible for our safety. When a courtesy-minded motorist stops and motions for one of us to make a left turn across his path, we are still responsible.

Please don't let group think put you in danger. Don't put your brain on autopilot when safety volunteers line the course. Be alert. Be wary. And be safe.

I can't imagine the hell that family is going through right now. It's every parent's worst nightmare - losing a child. I think it would rock the foundations of sanity, and that is not an exaggeration.

Hug your kids tonight and tell them you love them.


Sister of accident victim blames safety volunteer

KTEN Local News

TULSA, Okla. The sister of a teenager who died during a charity bicycle event says a safety volunteer waved her brother into the path of a semi truck that struck and killed him.

Charlie Vogann died yesterday as he turned from a county road onto Oklahoma 16 about a mile south of Okay in Wagoner County. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that the 15-year-old collided with the truck's rear axle, was thrown 164 feet from impact and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sabrina Aldrich also was participating in the 21st Annual M-S Bike Tour and was riding beside her brother when the two approached the intersection. Aldrich says a safety volunteer motioned for the two to go across, but Aldrich saw the oncoming truck and veered off to one side.

She alleges that the volunteers were negligent and should take responsibility for what happened.

Paula Cortner is president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Cortner says there was a safety volunteer at the intersection and that she and other officials plan to investigate what happened.


Blogger Paul Tay said...

If a volunteer really did wave him through, this ride is TOAST.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Ainsley Wiles said...

Another teen was killed on the MS150 Breakaway to the Beach in South Carolina this weekend. She and her brother and mother were struck from behind by a truck. The trooper was quoted by The State news paper as saying that the cyclist were doing everything right. As of yet the driver has not been charged. Her brother lived as well as her mother. She was also 15.

8:03 PM  

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