Tag Archives: accidents

Casey Sparks, 1978 – 2012

Photo from 11:40 (band) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/1140/191236354249654

On the night of April 27th, Casey Sparks was riding home from the Denton Arts & Jazz fest when he had a solo bicycle accident on Locust, near the North Branch Library. He passed away six days later on May 3rd. The police did not file a report, and the accident details are a bit vague, so I’m waiting to hear back from the Fire Department.

This tragedy marks the first bicycle-related loss in Denton since 2005.

Casey played drums in the band 11:40, and they’re hosting a memorial at Banter on Friday, May 18th from 6-8PM and a benefit show at Andy’s from 9PM-2AM.

Without knowing Casey, I can say that he left a big impression on everyone who knew him. One of Querencia’s dedicated shop coordinators, Nate, got into bikes because of Casey. To quote someone’s epitaph from the BikeDenton Facebook wall:

Permanent sad face, he was one of my favorite people in this damn world. Nobody loved riding bikes as much Casey, we lost a great one. Denton will never be the same, without his smiling face.

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Pete Davis visits Querencia

Pete Davis

Pete Davis came into Querencia while I was working today.

Pete was hit-and-run by a car in December of 2010, and his backpack saved his life. The fleeing driver was never caught. The accident hyperextended his knee (pictured), and now doctors say it needs to be replaced. C3 church pastor Ross Appleton took care of Pete for a while.

Pete’s a nice guy, and he grew up in Richardson (where I did) and traveled to California and back before ending up in Denton. I recognized him from the hit-and-run story, and he said he’s been hit four times in the last year.

It was a treat to take Pete’s photo, because he doesn’t fit the college-only bicycle stereotype.

Some people ride a bike because it’s all they’ve got. Driving is a luxury.

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Oak St hit-and-run

Last week on May 6, Hilari Oller was riding home from work at 2AM when she was hit-and-run by a car on W. Oak St near Welch. She says she was in the right lane, when a car hit her left side from behind so hard that the car mirror broke off, cutting her arm open and severing arteries in the process. Eighteen stitches later, she was released from the hospital, found the broken mirror on the road, and she made a police report. The driver is still at large.

Last October, UNT teaching fellow David Gonzalez was struck only a block away. Despite a 2009 city initiative to put in bike lanes on this stretch, the proposal was tabled by the former Traffic Safety Commission. Now in 2011, the city Bike Plan routes look to have steered clear of this part of Oak St, citing fear of backlash from the historic Oak/Hickory neighborhood.

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SUV hits cyclist on Fry St

I haven’t liked covering so many recent accidents, but they deserve public attention, especially as the city bike plan is underway. We received a phone tip about this last night, and the NTDaily ran an article today about the accident.

Nathan Hardy was riding south on Fry St from City Parc to UNT, when he was struck by a Lincoln Navigator that was turning onto Oak. Both approached the green light, and the SUV failed to yield and struck Nathan. Denton police cited the driver for failure to yield.

Hardy was flung from his bike and slid about 20 feet, said Steven Schroeder, Hardy’s friend and roommate, who was cycling just behind him at the time of the accident.

“His bone was sticking out of his leg and he was screaming,” said Schroeder, a communication design sophomore.

The driver immediately pulled over and called 911, witnesses said. Emergency personnel arrived in less than five minutes and Hardy was transported to Denton Regional Hospital, Schroeder said.

According to a friend, Hardy rides a bike for his primary transportation and hadn’t driven in a year.

The accident scenario (car fails to yield and hits cyclist head on while turning) is eerily similar to another accident this week where local BMX photographer, Travis Kincaid, was struck head-on.

On a related note, I recently found a 1970’s plan by UNT and Denton to add bike lanes to Fry. Fry businesses (including one Curtis Loveless) fought the plan (to save a few parking spots), and obviously the project didn’t go through.

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Surly Scars

Surly CrossCheck damage

Nick Magruder recently donated his 2009 hit-and-run Surly Cross Check frame to Querencia’s shop. For being hit from behind by a car going 40mph, I’d say it survived almost as unscathed as Nick. One rear dropout is broken, and the seat stays are bent.  4130 steel can take a hit pretty well, I’d say.

(To whoever stole the frame off the QCBS fence this week, now you know what’s wrong with it)

UPDATE: the person who grabbed it has a pretty amazing sounding project planned for it.  Hints: bamboo, cargo capacity. I take back the word “stole” and substitute “repurpose!”

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Hit-and-run at Oakland & Locust

oakland and locust hit-and-run

Thursday around 5PM, 52 year old Pete Davis was trying to ride across Locust at Oakland, and Denton police say he failed to yield to traffic and was struck by a white car. The driver of the white car hesitated briefly and then sped off, leaving Pete on the ground. According to Texas law, the driver committed a third-degree felony by fleeing the scene. Pete was transported to the hospital where he was treated.

Local church pastor Ross Appleton of C3 Denton explained that the car hit Pete’s back wheel, and paramedics said his backpack saved his life. Ross says Pete’s knee is severely hyperextended and he is in a lot of pain unable to walk. Pete had been homeless recently, but was on the upswing and working at a manual labor job, which may be impossible now.

Without anything to go on besides the car color, catching the assailant seems unlikely, but this story does send a message – if we hit someone, injure them, and fail to remain at the scene, it’s a 3rd degree felony.

If we hear anything else from the Denton PD, you’ll hear about it here.

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Update on Eagle drive accident – cyclist identified

The man who was hit yesterday on Eagle drive is Mason Lynass, a percussion performance major at UNT, aiming to get into the Jazz Studies program.

Through speaking with him, we learned that his concussion caused memory loss and he doesn’t recall the accident specifics, although his condition is stable. He said he’s glad the hospital allows him to eat solid food today, and he’s still at the hospital for a bit longer, pending tests.

Overall, he sounded stable and optimistic, and we wish him a speedy and full recovery. Having spent time under ER scrutiny for my own bike-related concussion, it is absolutely not fun.

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SUV hits cyclist on Eagle

accident aftermath from SUV striking cyclist who rode on sidewalk

Today around 5:00PM, an SUV struck a man who was cycling on Eagle Drive near Welch, mangling the bicycle, injuring the cyclist, and scattering belongings across the ground.  The injured cyclist was taken to an area hospital and is reportedly in stable condition, although a large blood stain is visible in the photo near the cloth bag and shoes.  No arrests or charges were made.

According to officers at the scene, the cyclist was riding east in the same direction as traffic, on the south sidewalk, and the SUV was traveling west on Eagle, making a left turn across the street where it hit the cyclist head-on.

In April 2010, city engineers produced a whitepaper and presentation that both suggested Eagle and Welch as possible candidates for bike lane installation.

Sidewalk riding is considered extremely dangerous by most cycling advocates, and it is studied and endlessly debated within the cycling community.  We always recommend riding in the street and avoiding the sidewalk, but it’s going to happen, especially in the absence of bike lanes and education.  Adding to the confusion, many UNT students ride on sidewalks within the campus and continue to do so off campus.  There are at least four college dormitories along Eagle, two of them carfree, so there is quite a bit of walking and biking in the vicinity.

This is a pretty hot topic, so keep the comments civil, please.

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UNT van hits cyclist on Oak St

UNT van hits cyclist on Oak and PonderYesterday morning at ~7:30, a UNT van on W. Oak collided with a cyclist near the Ponder St intersection.  David Gonzalez, a UNT teaching fellow, was riding behind the van when the van driver passed his intended turn and reversed backwards into David.  David was knocked off his bicycle and sustained minor facial abrasion and bicycle damage, and he didn’t require emergency medical attention.  A UNT police report was filed, and photos of the damage and injury were taken. We’re happy to note that David contacted the police, so the accident becomes a true statistic, which is incredibly valuable since so many bicycle accidents go unreported.  For reference, here’s a post that describes what to do after getting hit. We’re also very, very glad the van didn’t reverse backwards any further, in which case it may have actually run over David after knocking him down.

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Kathryn Newton to address city council

On the agenda for tonight’s city council meeting, item 5.D.2.b shows a citizen report: “Kathryn Newton regarding cyclist and pedestrian safety and rights.”

If you’ll recall, Kathryn’s husband, Alex Newton, was hit by a car and then ticketed for “failure to yield”.

Although the council meeting starts at 6:30PM, the other agenda topics (including gas well ordinances) look fairly weighty and could take 3 or more hours to get through before Kathryn can speak.  Regardless, we’ll be there and looking forward to hearing her address the council.  This is only the second bike-related citizen report we’ve ever seen, so it’s a great one to spectate and show support for.

Facebook event here.

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