Bicycle-Truck Crash on Hwy. 160

From the Springfield News Leader:

A Springfield bicyclist was seriously injured Monday after being struck while trying to cross Highway 160.

Nicholas White, 32, was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield after the accident Monday morning, the Missouri Highway Patrol reports.

The report does not include whether White was wearing a helmet.

Sharon Hancock, 65, was driving the 2008 Dodge truck when it struck White. The online report does not point to Hancock as being at fault.

That’s very sketchy. And what does his wearing or not wearing a helmet have to do with how this crash occurred?

I’ll post updates as I get them.

The comments on the story are depressingly typical.

UPDATE: An earlier story from KY3:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A bicyclist is hospitalized in serious condition after being hit by a pickup just outside the city limits on West Bypass near Farm Road 146 (Bennett Street) on Monday morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the man waited for a vehicle to pass and thought the road was clear.

The bicyclist, whose name wasn’t released on Monday morning, suffered head injuries. Trooper T.J. Stevens says West Bypass is a busy place for vehicles and ought to be avoided by bikers and pedestrians except at traffic signals.

UPDATE: This report by OzarksFirst includes video and a map:

(Springfield, MO) — A man on a bicycle is in the hospital with head injuries after being struck by a pickup truck on Springfield’s west side.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports a man in his 30’s was trying to cross the southbound lanes of West Bypass at Farm Road 146 at about 10 a.m. Monday.

He was struck by the pickup.

The victim, who is deaf, was taken to Cox South for treatment.

The Highway Patrol also says the driver of the pickup, a woman in her 50’s, was taken to the hospital with chest pains, apparently from the stress of the accident.

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Comments 10

  1. Rod wrote:

    I really get tired of the “was or was not wearing a helmet” comment. Why does this matter?
    Scenario – The cyclist was hit by a car traveling at a high rate of speed and he or she died at the scene. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet. If the cyclist was a dog or a horse a ticket would have been given to the driver of the vehicle. What a bunch of crap.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 12:16 pm
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    Rod… Yes. Plus, bicycle helmet are designed to protect you from low-speed impacts, e.g. falling off your bicycle. They are not designed for impact with an automobile. Reporters, however, all to often default to what they *believe* are cultural norms or common sense. It’s a problem in the profession.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 1:03 pm
  3. robert wrote:

    What I saw on KY3.com was a trooper indicating that highway 160 was too busy for a bicyclists unless they are crossing at an intersection. I’m not sure what happened but I took that to meant that he was crossing midblock.

    It sounds like this crash had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that he was driving a bicycle. He could have just as easily been in a Ford Ranger and tried to cross a busy highway at the wrong time. People make that mistake all the time. Any of us might make that mistake some day and be injured or killed.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 3:34 pm
  4. Jason C wrote:

    Yes, the old “was or was not wearing a helmet” bit is tired and laughable. What I’m interested in finding out is whether the driver was or was not using a hand held device as she struck the cyclist.
    Any chance this can become part of the formula used in media reports of this sort?

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 4:50 pm
  5. Andy Cline wrote:

    Jason… Any nonsense can take hold if you can find a way to give it the aura of common sense.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 6:15 pm
  6. Steve A wrote:

    What I saw on Google streetview was a divided four lane highway, with left turns and a median that the cyclist could have used to confirm his judgment of the highway traffic when he got half way across. It is difficult to judge the traffic on the far side of a four lane road, and using that median could have kept that cyclist safe. He apparently failed to use an advantage (small size) that would NOT have been available to him had he been driving a Ford Ranger.

    THAT is the lesson we as cyclists should absorb unless we wish to become victims ourselves. Suppose the motorist IS distracted, the task remains the same for the cyclist – operate so you get to your destination safely, without close calls. Distracted motorists merely make that task a bit more urgent.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 6:33 pm
  7. R A N T W I C K wrote:

    The “helmet” note on every article on a bicycle crash I’ve ever seen freaks me out… I mean, I understand that most reporters are just average people, but does bike safety boil down to wearing a helmet for EVERYONE other than me (and you)?

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 7:22 pm
  8. Andy Cline wrote:

    Steve… I agree re: your analysis of how we should be negotiating such a highway.

    Posted 24 Aug 2010 at 7:25 pm
  9. Andy Cline wrote:

    Rantwick… It’s called good marketing. The helmet companies, IMO, created that perception and, thus, created a market for their products.

    Posted 25 Aug 2010 at 8:18 am
  10. Coy wrote:

    Humbug! Almost all of West ByPass is signed “Share the Road,” though this particular section is not. If memory serves, it is signed south of Sunshine (next major intersection south of Bennett … about a mile) all the way to the South Creek Trail (at Battlefield Road), if not all the way to within a 100′ or so of the city of Battlefield. There is shoulder from about this same area of the town of Battlefield all the way to Chestnut Expressway, interrupted by small bits of traffic islands (if memory serves) which force you out into the traffic lanes.

    North of Chestnut Ex-way (No shoulder, but I believe the outside lane is 15′) IS signed “Share the Road” for 2 miles to Kearney, with connection to the Frisco Highline Trail (FHT). The FHT runs 35 miles all the way to Bolivar.

    Once past I-44, even Hwy 160 has shoulder with a few islands all the way to Willard (about 5 miles?).

    Pretty sizable stretch you can do on a bike.

    Posted 27 Aug 2010 at 3:52 pm