Fatal Chili crash sparks bike safety awareness

Updated: 08/23/2014 11:48 PM
Created: 08/23/2014 7:29 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

Sheriff's deputies were called to Paul Road in Chili Friday night around 8:30. Upon arrival, deputies say they found 58-year-old Joseph Robinson lying in the shoulder of the road.

Investigators say he was riding his bicycle when he was struck by a small SUV driven by a 29-year-old woman. We’re told Robinson was announced dead at the scene.

Bicyclists say the particular stretch of road where Robinson was struck and killed can be dangerous, especially when it gets dark at night.

Robinson’s mother says he loved to ride his bike and went out almost every night for exercise. She says he often biked along Paul Road.

Sheriff’s deputies say the driver of the SUV, Cassandra McClain, was traveling westbound on Paul Road when it appears she crossed over the white line and struck Robinson on the shoulder of the road. We’re told he was killed on impact.

At this time, investigators say they don’t believe alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. We’re told McClain stopped immediately after hitting Robinson and tried to help him before calling 911. Deputies say the bike did have reflective gear but say the driver wasn’t familiar with the road.

Avid cyclist Peter Crerand said there are four key points when it comes to cycling safety.

“Be seen, ride fast, ride straight and act like traffic,” Crerand said.

At night, that means using a flashing white light on the front of the bike and a flashing red light on the back. Crerand says static lights and reflectors aren’t enough to differentiate cyclists from a marker on the road.

“You need a flashing light so they can see you,” he said.

Steve Mahew said he often saw Robinson out riding. As avid cyclists, both would say hi in passing. He called what happened to Robinson a tragedy.

“He’s always on this road. Always. He does this every day. Every night he bikes this like three or four times a night. It’s sad,” said Mahew.

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