Car strikes, kills El Tour bicyclist from behind in bike lane, DPS says

2013-11-23T17:59:00Z 2013-11-25T00:07:55Z Car strikes, kills El Tour bicyclist from behind in bike lane, DPS saysArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 23, 2013 5:59 pm  • 

A 59-year-old man riding in El Tour de Tucson was struck by a vehicle and fatally injured late Saturday afternoon, authorities say.

The bicyclist, John Henderson of Tucson, was struck from behind by a car in the area of the Interstate 10 frontage road and West Sunset Road. Paramedics performed advanced life support but he was pronounced dead of his injuries at the scene, said Northwest Fire District Capt. Adam Goldberg.

Henderson was riding properly in the bike lane, which was marked by cones, said Department of Public Safety Officer Raul Molina. The car was in the bike line when it struck him, Molina said. 

The 78-year-old driver of the Nissan Leaf stayed at the scene, but he has since been taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation for undisclosed reasons.

Investigators do not suspect drugs or alcohol had anything to do with the crash, said Molina.

Authorities are not yet releasing information about the circumstances of the crash, which was reported at about 5:20 p.m. It was not raining at the time, Goldberg said.

Saturday's fatality appears to be the second in the 31-year history of El Tour de Tucson. A bicyclist, 28-year-old David vonKersburg of California, was struck and killed in the pre-dawn dark on his way to the start of the race in 1996.

In 2008, a 91-year-old hit-and-run driver struck a group of 10 El Tour bicyclists when he turned in front of the race on East Ina near Westward Look Resort. Five bicyclists were injured, including one who was left with a life-altering brain injury.   

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