Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Bicyclist Fatality

Posted by Henry Scott on August 28, 2008

A cyclist was killed by a collision with a motor vehicle at the St. Joseph / Elkhart county line on Ash road early this morning. Few details are available so far, but the South Bend Tribune has a preliminary report online: LINK.

Update @ 5:30 PM: The Tribune has posted additional information: LINK (this link was changed on 8/29; the previous Tribune link was no longer valid). Oddly, both the cyclist AND the motorist were traveling south in the northbound lane; the cyclist was hit from behind.

There has been a thread recently in the Bike Michiana Google Group about the need to compile local bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles; work is under way to establish an easy-to-update online database. More about the database will be published soon.

Here’s a map of showing the location of the accident:

7 Responses to “Bicyclist Fatality”

  1. Bicyclist was Paul Kaczor.

    EDIT: The cyclist’s name is Peter, not Paul.

  2. David Scheidt said

    I live a couple miles from there. that section of Ash road is awful to ride on. There’s a fair amount of high-speed traffic (speed limit is 40, average speed is probably closer to 55), both edges of the road are falling apart, so you need to ride at least 18 inches to the left of the fog line to stay out of the pot holes.

    I rode over there and took a look at the scene. If I understand (it’s entirely possible I don’t!) the paint marks the accident people made on the pavement, it looks like the cyclist was hit a foot or two to the left of the center line (double yellow, no passing).

  3. Adam Bee said

    What a shame. The saddest part is how he was identified when Edwardsburg police: his wife had called when he didn’t return from his ride. That just hits home really hard–I hope it’s a call nobody I know ever has to make.

    I wonder why the driver was also in the wrong lane? I don’t want to jump to conclusions until we know more facts, but that fact certainly has a sinister ring to it…

  4. Melissa said

    Someone needs to do something about the all of the bicycle/automobile accidents that’s been occuring lately. My daughter recently hit a cyclist. It was 10:30 at night, he was wearing black shirt and dark brown shorts, no light or reflectors on the bike, and he was driving down the center of the road. My daughter was heading north and turning west. The cyclist was heading south. She saw him at the last second. Luckily he was not injured. What is frustrating to me is…where is his responsibility in this?

  5. Jeff Nixa said

    Thank you Henry, for the initial news post, and the follow up. And thank you Dave, for the information/assessment of the scene. I’ve been waiting for more facts on this tragedy. Puzzling case…and I sense every biker in the county(s) watching this unfold.

    I plan to attend Paul’s wake/funeral (to be announced), and extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family on behalf of the Bike Michiana Coalition. I’ll post that info when it is available and hope other bikers can attend.

  6. Joe Dits said

    Actually, the rider/victim’s first name is Peter, as we published it in the South Bend Tribune.

  7. Melissa,

    Bicyclists and motorists must each take their responsibility. I once came very close to hitting a young mane I knew late in the evening. He only had a headlamp – no reflectors or blinkies – and had dark clothing on. He didn’t even know how close I came to hitting him with my car until I told him several days later. His response: “I like being stealthy.” Well, that’s being irresponsible and does not take into consideration the effect upon motorists and their families if he was to be struck.

    This brings to mind two points I believe are very important to address now: 1) include bike, pedestrian, and other non-car/truck awareness training in all driver’s education classes – and make it mandatory to pass a such a section in all motorized vehicle license testing; 2) make bicycle riding/safety education classes mandatory, just like driver’s ed classes are mandatory. If we all had such training, responsibility for accidents would be much easier to clarify.


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