Bicyclist killed in accident near Sulphur
A Sulphur man was struck and killed by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle in the middle of a well-traveled highway west of town Monday night, officials said.
James Brooks, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene after being “rear-ended by a motorist who apparently didn’t see him,” said state police spokesman Sgt. James Anderson. The crash occurred on U.S. 90 near Choupique Road around 8:30 p.m.
Anderson said Brooks didn’t have proper lighting on his bicycle and was dressed in dark colors. The driver, uninjured, wasn’t charged.
Anderson said the accident could have happened to any driver under the same conditions.
“Just like motorcycles, bicycles are smaller than normal vehicles and more difficult to see,” said Anderson, stressing the importance of keeping an eye out for both vehicle types.
Fatal collisions involving a bicycle are “relatively rare, thank goodness,” he said, but motorcycle deaths are more common.
Anderson said state police have responded to seven fatal crashes already in 2018, two involving a motorcycle. He called the total “about on track for what we normally see.”
State law requires bicyclists to ride as close to the right side of the road as possible. It also requires bikes be equipped with reflectors, as well as front and rear lights, and that lights be used between sunset and sunrise.
Most bicyclist deaths happen at nightfall between 6 and 9 p.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Anderson said his advice to riders is to make sure they are always visible.
“Have the proper lighting equipment on your bicycle, the proper reflectors, wear reflective material at night, and then of course ride as close to the line as possible,” he said.
Anderson said routine toxicology samples were obtained from the drivers and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.