You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Mar 30, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Bicyclist struck by car in Salem Township

By Lisa Carolin

A 39-year-old South Lyon man was struck by a car earlier this afternoon. His condition at this time in not known.

The accident occurred around 1 p.m. when a driver, also from South Lyon, was heading southbound on Pontiac Trail just south of 5 Mile Road in Salem Township.

According to Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office spokesman Derrick Jackson, the 22-year-old driver's car drifted over to the shoulder of the road, and the bicyclist was struck by the car's mirror.

He was transported by Huron Valley Ambulance to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

View Larger Map


monk and muddy man

Mon, Apr 1, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

MKM17 says raises many strong points. I ride that route almost everyday, weather permitting. Whitmore Lake to 7 mile to Pontaic. What other options are available to get back into town? That's a key issue. A2 claims to be a bike friendly town and it simply is not. Is the rider to go over to Curtis Rd? Great ride, but how do you get back into town without cutting through sub-divisions or on dirt roads? Not easy. Like much else, it is a risk/reward issue. For years I only rode on Joy/Warren type roads with a mountain bike, feeling it was safer. Until I was run off the road on Joy. Bikers do have rights, but we need to ask ourselves: is it really worth being "dead" right? I grapple with this each time I ride Pontiac Trail. I do avoid it during rush hour, but the person hit today wasn't riding during rush hour.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 11:36 p.m.

Many or most vehicle codes require the overtaking vehicle to give the slower vehicle sufficient space. Most motor vehicle operators are courteous towards bicycles. But there are some lousy drivers on the roads. I have been hit twice by wide mirrors on pickups, run into by several cars making right turns, twice by cars suddenly pulling into a parking space, narrowly missed by a cab making a U-turn, shoved off the road by a mobile home, been hit by thrown objects, had beer poured on me, and pushed off the road by passengers several times. I have also had problems with other bicyclists and a few pedestrians. A reality-cam would have been amazing. I have also managed to survive a few dumb moves all of my own creation. I wear very visible clothing. I would say I am a fairly good and very experienced rider. I have ridden over 12,000 miles several years and over riden over 60 years total. You may be in the right but you can be dead right. You always need to be mindful that even if you do everything properly there are others that don't. There are even some out there that are aggressive, inattentive, or basically idiots who should not be allow to drive a car at all. It is far too easy to get and keep a drivers license in this country.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

257.660a Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding close to right-hand curb or edge of roadway; exceptions.A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows: (c) When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles, including, but not limited to, surface hazards, an uneven roadway surface, drain openings, debris, parked or moving vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles, or if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Roads were built for people. Being in a car does not make someone more important than anyone else.

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Is it worth it? It may be your right. It may be 100% the drivers fault. But we all know that drivers will get distracted and that riders will get killed. The risk is statistically calcualble and can be compared to the dramatically reduced risk of riding on the miles of trails in Washtenaw County. Is the thrill of riding on a highway worth the risk?


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 : 3:05 a.m.

Agree completely- this area and seven mile from whitmore lake through Salem- if there is no shoulder, you would do much better to find a safer route. Wrong or right, safety should be the main concern and there are far better options to get the miles in. I know safety is the biggest priority for me when I am considering where to ride. To riders and drivers as the season really opens up- please be aware of your surroundings.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Totally agree, Chase. 100%. My point exactly.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Roads were and are built for cars. Sidewalks and bike paths are for bikes.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

Improved roads were originally lobbied for, paved for, and even paid for by bicycle organizations. Car drivers and car clubs came to this thinking a few decades later. Many vehicle codes do not alow bicycle riding on sidewalks.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Sidewalks are made for pedestrians.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

Actually, that is incorrect.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Michigan needs to pass a '3 foot' law. The legislature sure seems to find time to pass lots of other laws that 'show respect' for human life.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

Bikers wouldn't follow that law.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

I live near the accident and would never ride on Pontiac Trail between North Territorial and South Lyon. There is little to no shoulder and the margin for error is very small. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents in this area.

Local Yocal

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

I use to love to bike the scenic ride to Dexter along Huron River Dr. I no longer ride that because of the increase auto traffic and no shoulders to get off the road in an emergency.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Before I get slammed or deleted, I want to be clear that I am an avid road and off road cyclist. Our family are longtime active members of AABTS, LMB, MMBA, and other cycling organizations. We fully support the idea that automobiles need to share the road with cyclists. That said, cyclists also bear the responsibility for using good judgment when choosing where to ride. Many sections of Pontiac Trail in Ann Arbor Township, Salem Township, and Lyon Township toward South Lyon have narrow or crumbling shoulders, and many automobiles drive much faster than the posted speed limit. In the last week I've seen many cyclists riding on Pontiac Trail. Most were cautious, respectful of other traffic, and seemed to be very aware of their surroundings. Some riders, however, rode two abreast, stared straight ahead (no rear view mirror), and sometimes veered far into the automobile lane.


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

Nicholas, please reread. I did not write " ... that the cyclist was riding on the highway for a thrill."

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

@mkm17: "My comments are not addressing the driver of the automobile. My comments are addressing where cyclists choose to ride." Yeah, well; maybe you should stop blaming the victim again and again, and start addressing the driver who "drifted over to the shoulder of the road" and struck him. Maybe we should get those dangerous drivers off the road rather than the bicyclists. Why don't you say anything about that? You state that the cyclist was riding on the highway for a thrill. Really? It seems more likely they had somewhere to go. You say you're an avid road cyclist? I don't believe it for a minute.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Maybe Chase said it best: Is it worth it? It may be your right. It may be 100% the drivers fault. But we all know that drivers will get distracted and that riders will get killed. The risk is statistically calcualble and can be compared to the dramatically reduced risk of riding on the miles of trails in Washtenaw County. Is the thrill of riding on a highway worth the risk? Once again, my point is that a cyclist needs to consider carefully whether it's a good idea to ride that section of Pontiac Trail. I've lived in that area for 35 years and would not take the risk of riding right there. My comments are not addressing the driver of the automobile. My comments are addressing where cyclists choose to ride.

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

@mkm17: Where is your lecture for all of the car drivers who routinely ignore the law? I think it is very rude and insensitive for you to lecture and soapbox cyclists about their obligations on a story where police say the driver drifted into the cyclist.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I take back my statement that we don't know if the driver was at fault. If the automobile drifted to the shoulder of the road, then it seems the driver was certainly at fault. Sorry about that, everyone.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

Alaina, I'm not blaming the victim. I'm only pointing out that the responsibility is shared between the cyclist and the automobile driver. I don't think it has been determined that the driver was at fault.

Alaina Case

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

As an avid cyclist myself, I can not comprehend how you could even remotely attempt to blame the victim here, when a fellow rider was HIT BY A CAR. The driver was at fault. PERIOD. If you are behind the wheel of a car, it is your sole responsibility to not hit anyone with your vehicle, even if they are on a bike, even if they don't have a rear view mirror, even if they are staring straight ahead, and even if they are riding two abreast. As a driver, you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings, practice safe passing, and give the cyclist enough room- always- no excuse.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

I ride in that area and the cars can sneak up on you as there's not really any extra pavement on the shoulder. Hopefully the cyclist is okay.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : midnight

Funny, I saw a bicyclist around that area that was driving really close to the road. Hope that was wasn't the same person :(


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Just because a cyclists are allowed in the road doesn't make it a wise choice. We're living in a time of distracted drivers, and until drivers are held accountable more dealths and injuries are the future.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

Please clarify... the cyclist is allowed to use the road & does not have to cower on the shoulder.


Sat, Mar 30, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

So sad, first day people were out and really biking. Please everyone share the road and watch for cyclists.


Sat, Mar 30, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Tuning, texting, twiddling or just inattentive... somebody was injured by lousy driving. No slap on the wrist?