The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 29, 2010

OKC Police seek public’s help in cyclist’s death

EDMOND — Police have altered the scope of the investigation and are seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 56-year-old Edmond cyclist.

On July 17, Alan Spencer, 56, of Edmond, was killed when he was struck in a hit-and-run incident in the 12500 block of Midwest Boulevard.

Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said after some items of suspicion turned up the case has been turned over to homicide detectives, but police are not yet ready to call it a homicide.

Knight said factors usually related to a bicycle fatality — such as poor lighting conditions and an obstructed view — were absent in this incident. Knight said this crash occurred in daylight, on a Saturday morning, on an open stretch of road and it was not raining.

The victim was legally riding in the middle of one of the lanes in an area popular with cyclists when he was struck hard enough to be killed and left to die, Knight said.

Knight said police have not yet identified a suspect in the case, and anyone with related information is asked to call the Oklahoma City Police Department homicide tip line at 297-1200.

The incident is at least the third auto-bicyclist accident in the area within the past couple of weeks.

On July 18, Clyde Riggs, 75, of Oklahoma City, was killed from injuries suffered when he was riding his bicycle eastbound in the 5100 block of Britton Road. The driver told police he did not see the cyclist until just before the accident, and the investigation determined there was not probable cause to arrest the driver of the vehicle at that time.

Additionally, a 10-year-old boy is recovering from injuries suffered from a collision with an SUV in the Deer Creek area.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and Deer Creek Fire Department responded to a call about a 10-year-old boy who was struck at about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday by a small SUV in the 6000 block of Blue Cedar Road.

Deer Creek Assistant Fire Chief Eric Harlow said the SUV was an Isuzu Rodeo, which dragged the victim several feet before coming to a stop. The victim, who suffered a broken leg and other minor injuries, was transported to OU Medical Center. He was conscious and alert, Harlow said.

Harlow said victim underwent surgery Wednesday evening.

Policy say bicyclists and motorists share responsibility for avoiding such incidents.

In 2008, Edmond adopted an ordinance modeled after state law regarding overtaking and passing a bicyclist. It states that a person driving a vehicle passing a bicyclist traveling in the same direction shall leave a safe distance between the vehicle and the bicycle of not less than 3 feet until the vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.

Violations of the ordinance causing serious injury to a bicyclist carry a $500 fine.

Edmond also has a Bicycle Committee, advertised as a strong advocate of education for both bicyclists and motorists. Five Edmond residents have become league cycling instructors with the League of American Bicyclists.

Two local cycling and motoring safety classes are being offered.

A basic bicycling class is offered from 9-11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month at Al’s Bicycles, 2624 S. Broadway Court. The class is free, but a $10 deposit is required to verify attendance. Call Craig or Henry at 341-4331.

A basic traffic skills, 9-hour class on vehicular cycling is offered by the Edmond Bicycle Committee. For more information, call Jan Fees at 359-4796 or e-mail her at
| 341-2121, ext. 108

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