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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 10:12 p.m.

Bicyclist struck by car in Pittsfield Township dies

By Lee Higgins


A bicyclist died after being struck by a vehicle at about 5 p.m. Tuesday on Maple Road, Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety officials said.

Police said the bicyclist was Timothy Pincikowski, a 45-year-old from Saline. The crash occurred on Maple Road between Travis Pointe Road and Ellsworth Road.

Police did not release further details Wednesday morning on what caused the crash. No information on the driver of the vehicle was available.

Photo by Melanie Maxwell: Police blocked off the road near the scene of a fatal crash involving a car and bicycle.



Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 5:20 p.m.

Worth watching. The victim was known to many in the online cycling community.


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 8:55 a.m.

That radio show is the Daminski and Doyle show out of Detroit. Daminski is a complete jerk and Doyle agrees with everything he says.

Tracy Ann

Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 10 a.m.

After reading this horrible story and the comments about it, one comment stands out. Someone states that they do not feel sorry for the driver involved whatsoever because, clearly, it was his fault. Be that as it may, do you really think he set out that day intending to kill a man? I highly doubt it. I think a lot of people don't realize how fast their vehicle can come up on a cyclist and just how much they have to slow down. That being said, I'll be sure to remember the above sentiment the next time I see a cyclist riding through an intersection or driving ahead at a four-way stop instead of waiting their turn like those of us in vehicles have to do. If we are supposed to share the road, shouldn't the same rules of the road apply to all who use it?


Fri, Aug 21, 2009 : 8:18 a.m.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle has a copy of the report linked on their page (lower left column under "New Media Watch"). It is quite telling. Ann would could improve on its coverage of such incidents - picture of a steamy road giving the impression that it was raining at the time of the accident - report says it was dry, some clouds. Comments telling cyclists to wear their helmets and tattoo a red light on their backs were condescending at best, left up while others asking drivers to be more careful were taken down. In this case, Ann has some egg to clean up.


Tue, Aug 18, 2009 : 1:40 p.m.

That bit on WCSX is appalling. What a freak!

Anthony Byram

Fri, Aug 14, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

Sad and very scary. I was cycling (for sport) south on maple this very day before the accident. Then it began to rain hard when I got onto Pleasant Lake Rd, so I turned around on Pleasant Lake Road (my normal 30 mile route is out and back to Pleasant Lake). On my way back I biked through all of the parked cars and EMTs, no idea a cyclist was hit. I thought it would be rude to stop and see what was happening since all of the EMTs were there. All I know is with the rain I wanted to get home as fast as possible, from now on if it rains I'm going to just not bike and phone for a ride home or wait it out if I have to. I still bike this route and pass the memorial each time. Yet five miles from the accident on Pleasant Lake Road I was hit by a pop can thrown from a car. I have no choice but to assume every driver is trying to harm me.


Thu, Aug 13, 2009 : 7:32 a.m.

I must say that hearing about this event makes me shiver thinking about it as I bike on the roads in Ann Arbor and the rural areas. I must say that it is utterly appalling reading some of the comments that feel more about the living and how he will deal with the agony of his "mistake" than the cyclist, who's life was taken from a car trying to pass. I would hate to think that this could happen to me and all of my life accomplishments, my philanthropy, and my relationships with others would be lying on the side of the road in tatters, and a driver (whose responsibility is to treat a bicycle as a motorized vehicle legally) would be left to tell the story of what happened. I may be naive, but I cannot believe that an accurate depiction of an event can be ascertained from the individual still alive in a deadly accident. Too many times these accidents are made to be the cyclists issue as it seems most drivers do not feel they have to share the road. As a cyclist myself, it's a regular occurance to be the far right of a road and have cans, bottles, and verbal barrages thrown at me by passing cars. I must say that my heart goes out to this victim of this accident and his family, and I cannot feel sorry for 1 second for the man who took the life of a 45 year old responsible cyclist.


Sun, Aug 9, 2009 : 4:45 p.m.

I certainly join everyone in mourning the death of this cyclist. I use bicycles for about 90% of travel and I agree on all the major points regarding all-around responsibilities and the need for a better alternative non-motor vehicle infrastructure. Regarding CBQ80's post with the link to the radio stations mp3 archive: I just tried that link - it has apparently been pulled. (I strongly doubt this was just coincidence). In that connection: over the past few years, radio show hosts on the East Coast and in Texas have "baited" motorist listeners into enraged anti-cyclist responses. When national level cycling organizations have protested, the station management (in all cases) have responded blandly with platitudes. NO serious corrective action was ever taken. This is entirely due to lax regulation and enforcement of established federal standards. There should be NO other action but prompt revocation of broadcast licenses once the offense has been confirmed. Back on topic: I will use the example of this terrible incident as a reminder to stay alert and heedful of my responsibilities as a cyclist. I hope that other cyclists and our motorists too will do the same. I urge everyone who's shown concern over this accident to join in efforts to improve the situation for both drivers and cyclists.

Paul A.

Sat, Aug 8, 2009 : 10:47 a.m.

Two announcements: First, the Ann Arbor Bicycling and Walking Coalition is holding a special memorial ride in Tim's name on Tuesday, August 18th. The ride, which will have Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township Police escorts, will leave from Pioneer High School (the Park'nRide lot) on Main Street, just south of Stadium Boulevard, in Ann Arbor. The ride will leave at 5 PM, travel the approximate 3.5 miles to the site of the accident, stop for a brief service, and then return to Pioneer at approximately 6 PM. All are invited to attend. Second, I have been "invited" to appear on the Demenski and Doyle radio show, WCSX 94.7 FM, at 7:15 AM, Monday, August 10th, to discuss their anti-bicycle comments made last week. Paul Alman


Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 1:42 p.m.

My father ride this very road to work everyday...Saline to S. Main St- Ann Arbor. My mother told me about this tragedy in a sad- worried- angry tone. We pray for the Pincikowski Family and friends.

John Hritz

Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 9:22 a.m.

Still no results of the police investigation or statement from the district attorneys office. We're at day 10. Not sure whether that is long for such things or not.


Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 9:18 a.m.

First let me begin by thanking everyone who has been taking part in this discussion and especially those who have reached out to my family during this difficult time. Knowing there are people who are so concerned and want to help to make the road safer for bicylists is very heartening. Tim's family and friends are determined to make sure that changes are made in the Saline/Ann Arbor area and in his home town Racine, WI. One idea that we are working on is to design t-shirts with "share the road" logo on it to help pay for signs and a memorial traffic sign on Maple Road. After the memorial this Saturday, I will have more time to respond to everyone that has reached out to me and the family to help. If you would like to contact me directly, send an email to I will get back to you as soon as possible. Again, sincere thanks. Scott Pincikowski


Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 7:09 a.m.

Dear Mr. Pincikowski, My sincere sorrows for the loss of your brother. I am a competitive cyclist/triathlete in the area and regularly log over 2k miles per year in the saddle. Sadly, I also regularly experience road rage in its many forms from motorists directed towards me for reasons I can only imagine. Please contact me at and I will aid in your effort. Additionally I have already contacted the Pittsfield Township authorities. They inform me that they have a Road Committee that review requests such as yours. I am trying to get their meeting schedule, yet forthcoming. I will aid in your request to the requisite group. Also, it is my desire to have the speed limits lowered on Lohr and Maple Roads to match the limits on Textile and Ellsworth as these roads see extensive use by the public for walking, running and cycling. In fact I saw three guys cycling yesterday afternoon doing mile intervals on Lohr as I ran by on my running loop. Readers, lets keep this story alive. Keep the comments coming. Many Thanks.


Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 9:28 p.m.

Mr. Pincikowski, Let me begin by saying I am so sorry about your brother and my heart goes out to you and your family. I agree that more needs to be done in Ann Arbor to raise awareness about the sharing the road safely with cyclists. I am an active member of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition ( and we are working to do just this... though clearly there is much more to be done. I know that I, and many of the other members, would be interested in supporting/working with you on this issue. Please send a note to ~Erica Briggs


Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 3:19 p.m.

I am one of Tim Pincikowski's brothers and would like to make a contribution to this discussion. In Tim's memory and as an avid biker myself, I am planning to raise bike safety awareness in the Ann Arbor area. I know where Tim was killed and would like to see "share the road" signs put up, the bike lane widened (where he was hit the shoulder was about 2 to 2 1/2 feet wide--this stretch of road is also very popular with bikers) and the speed limit lowered. Is there interest in Ann Arbor to help me do this? I think biking will only become more common over time so bikers and drivers alike will only profit from raising the consciousness about sharing the road safely. If you are interested, please respond this blog and I will get back to you. I loved my brother very much and know he would have wanted to raise biker safety awareness.

Paul A.

Sat, Aug 1, 2009 : 2:10 p.m.

I believe the point is that this was not an accident in the usual use of the word; this was an avoidable incident that led to the death of a person. That being said the point is that we all need to much more conscious of our behavior when we are on the road.


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 9:48 p.m.

It is so easy to place blame when you are not involved. What is the point? It is a tragic accident! This may not have changed the outcome, but why is the speed limit on Maple Road not posted between Ann Arbor Saline Road and Textile?


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 5:46 p.m.

I live near where the accident happened and drive on Maple almost every day. I have to say that I am a bit dismayed at the finger pointing happening about this event. The vast majority of drivers, cyclists, joggers, and walkers on Maple are traveling the road without a problem. Let's not make umbrella declarations about all cyclists and all drivers. It's easy to point to other events, but the important item from this event is the fact that one individual died and two families will never be the same again.


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 3:09 p.m.

Paul, it is very important to know that these comments have been HEAVILY censored. Even an eye whitness account that refutes the "trying to pass" part of the story was removed. I have an equivalent list of different instances including my own of drivers hurting legally compliant cyclists. An architect coming home from work near downtown, a headhunter run off the road at on huron river drive east of Huron Parkway... Oh and...all those questions about wearing a helmet or having light were left up leaving the impression that the cyclist was in question.

Paul A.

Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 2:56 p.m.

I have been watching the comments on this story and have been struck by the desire for most people not to attach responsibility for this accident. I will, however. Consider the fact that in the past 2 or 3 years, in Washtenaw County five cyclists that I know have been either killed or seriously injured in car/bike accidents: 1. A young man, trying to show that he could get his car "airborne", ran a stop sign at approximately 80 mph crossing Plymouth Road, did in fact get his car airborne, striking and killing a young cyclist he did not see. 2. An even younger man, a newly licensed driver, dropped his sunglasses on the floor of his car, crossed into the oncoming lane, struck and killed a cyclist coming out of Chelsea. 3. A young man allegedly being pursued by the police, sped through a stop sign coming off Wagner Road onto Huron River Drive, ran an oncoming cyclists off the road into a brick building, causing serious injuries that took months to heal. 4. A young woman coming home from a long shift as a hospital resident, fell asleep on Hines Drive, crossed over into the oncoming lane, nearly killing a cyclists who is facing many more weeks if not months, in the hospital and it is not known if he will ever walk again. 5. Another young driver in what appears to be an attempt to pass a rider, ran over the rider going in the same direction on Maple Road, killing him. While there seem to be those who blame the cyclists, some the drivers, some the road, some the lack of separated facilities, etc., in each of the cases I cite above it is clearly the drivers who were responsible for these accidents. Let's not be shy in assigning this responsibility. The community, the public agencies, the law all try to agree that cyclists are entitled to, and responsible for, the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. The reality is that we do not practice what we "preach". Most drivers (and I include myself at time when behind the wheel) are totally oblivious to anything or anyone other than ourselves, often unaware of what is going on around us. Driving has become such an unconscious activity, that it is inevitable that more tragedies will take place unless each time we get behind the wheel (and on our bikes) we take a moment to consider what we are about to do and pay attention to that activity. It is the pedestrian, the cyclist who will pay the greatest price if we don't all do that. So let's be clear, in these cases, the drivers were responsible! Paul Alman


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 6:32 a.m.

This road is a two lane road but it has wide shoulders, very good visibility over the distance where this accident happened. There is also rampant speeding and very little enforcement. That combined with a miserable talent level and decision making or the driving public here generally. Yes, an accident was possible. I am a cyclist and driver who frequents other big cities (Madison, Chicago, Boston, Columbus etc). Other places are more outwardly rude but the this area is the worst in terms of skill and decision making.

Duane Collicott

Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 11:34 p.m.

Years ago, I used to ride everywhere from my home on the SW side - Dexter, Manchester, Saline, etc. These days, there's no way. There are just too many clueless and incapable drivers out there now.


Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 8:34 p.m.

This is very sad news. Maple is a very busy two-lane road with speeds in excess of 50mph and no true bike lanes. Sooner or later a serious bike-auto accident was going to occur given those conditions.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

This gets more complex as I continue to read. I am an "eyewitness" and there is no way the van was trying to pass. I spoke to the driver, he said "I took my eyes off the road for just a second." You don't pass anyone or anything by going into the shoulder on the right. From what I saw, he was not paying attention and swerved into the shoulder, not realizing what he was doing. The victim did not have a helmet on his head when I aproached him, but he had been thrown hundreds of feet from his bicycle and had severe head injuries. It may have been thrown off, but it would have done nothing to save his life. His injuries were too severe. I am sad to learn he had a family-2 children and a wife. My hear goes out to you all. I can not imagine the tragedy you have suffered.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 6:45 p.m.

It is regrettably sad to have to learn a life that once existed in now no more. Once a father may be a brother or husband, or a son to someone now is gone. Gone forever not to be replaced leaving behind emptiness in the hearts and minds of all that loved him and sadness in all of us who are taking part in this dialogue. As a driver who logs in about 20000 miles on a car, and as a passionate cyclist who averages about 2000 miles a year, I see both sides of the dialogue as way for a need to respect everyones right. In a split of a second we are impacting someones life forever. That someone could be anyone of us drivers, cyclist, or even pedestrians who happen to be at that particular juncture in that particular point of time. Although obeying the law of the road can reduce instances of such happenings, sadly it does not stop tragedies like this from happening over and over. Within this same month perhaps within 25 mile radii another fellow cyclist was hit by a motorist who had slumbered at the wheel. How can any law prevent such incidence? In addition to written laws on going community awareness is needed through public and private media to recognize the reality of multi mode of transportation and even the greater need to co-exist. After all the greatest law of humanity is not the one that is in the books or one that is staked by the side of the road but rather it exists engraved in our mind eternally. Too much and needless death and injury is taking place in Michigan roads because less drivers are aware of the written laws about the rights of cyclist. Bicycles are here to stay where they are legal, just as micro cars are here to stay on highways sharing the rood with trucks and other large vehicles. Radio, TV, newspapers, and the internet need to do more to raise public awareness compared just reporting the tragedies as news of the day and it becomes the end of the story. That somebody who just got killed may have been everything that someone had. The culture of this is my road, get off must change forever for the better of our society since we all use various modes of transportations (walking, biking, driving, rollerblading, etc..) during the course of our life and that dead person may be someday one of our own. With great Sadness. LM


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 3:48 p.m.

According to a comment in the Free Press by an eyewitness: "The bike and/or rider went through his windshield." I ride Maple Rd frequently, It has wider shoulders than most of the area roads, and like another poster, I consider myself 'safe at last' when I get to Maple. This makes me wonder if the driver was texting or otherwise distracted.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 3:44 p.m.

God bless this man and his family


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 2:13 p.m.

The law does state that everyone has the same right to the public roads. People need to weigh that right, however, with come common safety sense. I regularly see groups of cyclists that will block the road with two, three or more abreast, on hills and blind curves. That is dangerous to both the driver of the vehicle and the cyclist. I also have seen motorcyclists that split lanes, ride between cars at stops, change lanes without looking. This sort of behavior is not only dangerous, but reflects poorly on other motorcyclists in general. You never know who is coming up behind you - it could be me (I will give you room and watch to make sure I can pass you safely) or it could be cellphone sam who is not paying attention and could care less about you or I. It could even be road rage rob, late and irritated that you are in the way. You will still be in the right - with the law on your side - and just as much hurt regardless. Tragedies like this one have one redeeming factor - they make people pay attention to the issue at hand. There is a lot of bicycles and motorcycles on the roads at this time of year. Maybe by this discourse, some out there will ride and/or drive more cautiously and perhaps this sort of accident might be prevented.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 1:46 p.m.

Ms. Nash, I understand the request to start a conversation elsewhere, but since the topic is the crash, this seems like a logical place to discuss it. Beyond that, looking at the list of topics, it isn't at all clear which topic would be appropriate. Someone who claims to be an eyewitness is writing in the article comments at the Freep, and said, "Not quite what happened. I saw it. The minivan was in no way trying to pass." and in response to a question about the minivan driver attempting to pass, "No. Not the case. Not unless he was trying to pass on the right." Let's all remember the laws in Michigan. By law, the cyclist has the same right to use the roadway as a motorist. By law and Supreme Court rulings, the roadway starts at the fogline; the shoulder is *not* part of the roadway, and cyclists are generally not supposed to use shoulders. By law, the motorist has to pass safely or wait for an opportunity to pass safely. By Supreme Court ruling, 4' may not constitute a safe passing distance, depending on the circumstances. As a fellow bike commuter, the only good I can see coming of this is a reminder to everyone of the legal rights and responsibilities of cyclists and motorists, so that we can all safely share the road. If everyone follows the laws, this kind of senseless loss should never happen.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 1:19 p.m.

In response that the van tried to way you don't pass someone on the shoulder and hit them at the speeds there was a long distance between the point of contact to where the man was laying.

Drew M.

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 1:12 p.m.

Does anyone (eyewitness?) know whether he was wearing a helmet? Very scary to hear of a death in this situation; my heartfelt condolences to all. I read a recent article in the New York Times (two weekends ago) about distraction from cell phones/texting being one of the top two contriutors to accidents, and growing (the other being alchohol and drugs, which evidently were not involved here). I also wonder whether this occurred during the huge deluge/thuderstorm that passed through that area shortly before 5pm. Any intelligence on that? If Tim was an experience cyclist (as am I), it is very likely that he was using a helemet. If he was a commuter, it is very likely that he had a rear red blinking light as well, though he may not have used it at 5pm, which at this time of year is full daylight (but for the possible storm clouds). Finally, if he was an exprienced cyclist, it is very unlikely that he was any further from the right edge of the payment than he felt he safely needed to be(considering obstructions, pavement defects, etc.). One thing to bear in mind--as a limitation on the police report--is that (by necessity) we only have the driver's side of the story (unless anyone else actually saw it happen; not just come along shortly after). Did any of the "eyewitnesses" here actually see it occur? With all of these qualifications, the freep's report that the "driver was trying to pass" suggests that the accident was probably (note, this is my speculation/deduction only from what has been posted/reported)due to driver error (driver of the van). It is the responsibility of a motor vehicle approaching a cyclist from the rear to assure that he/she has adequate room to pass, and to leave a margin of safety around the cyclist when doing so. Good drivers do not hesitate to cross the center line a few feet (obviously, when no oncoming traffic is approaching) in order to leave at least three feet between their vehicle and the cyclist. Bad/unreasonable drivers refuse to do so, and approach the cyclist as if they (the driver) "own" the lane--which of course they do not. Unless there are two lanes or a very wide lane, good drivers will slow down and wait for there to be no oncoming traffic so that they can move a few feet over the center line to pass. Remember, the cyclist is NOT trying to block you (the driver) or slow you down. Rather, he/she is simply trying to move safely down the road, and might need to be several feet into the lane in order to do so (due to obstructions, etc.). The above is not meant as a critisim of the driver in this case (who is obiviously suffering as well). It is an attempt to discuss in some detail issues that, as an experienced cyclist and driver, it is evident to me (and many others) that a large number of drivers do not understand or follow. In that way, perhaps Tim's death can bring about some measure of good, however small.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 11:55 a.m.

To everyone who saw the accident- have you read the free press article on the accident? THey are saying that the van tried to pass... I don't think that is what happened. What are your thoughts?


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 11:09 a.m.

First, my thoughts and concerns to everyone involved: rider, driver, passers-by, EMTs included. I sincerely hope that somehow, some people can learn something from this. I ride to work in Saline from Ypsilanti a couple times a week, and am staggered to see that such an accident occurred on that stretch of road. I always think to myself when I get to Maple that "now I'm in the clear," as the downhill and straight road all but guarantee that I'll be seen. The only reason I could see for an accident on that road is that the cyclist suddenly began to occupy a space that the driver did not expect him to occupy, either because the driver was inattentive, or the cyclist swerved. One thing that I wish more drivers who are not cyclists understood is that obstacles that would not give a driver a moment's pause could severely damage a bike. Hitting roadkill or a stick causes a "bump" in a car; doing the same in a bike often results in a "pow" as a tire blows out or a wheel fails, and a "slam" as the rider falls to the pavement. I know that many drivers think they are giving cyclists a wide enough berth, but be aware that a rider may have to suddenly move to avoid an object which the driver naturally ignores. Cyclists too, need to realize the value of braking to avoid an object rather than indulging in personal race fantasies and swooping around.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:54 a.m.

This is such a sad story. My heart goes out to victim, his family and the driver... I too have had close calls in the city of Ann Arbor..I agree that city streets need to be shared by all of us..However a car can only drive down a street..pedestrians,skaters ect.have the option of using the sidewalk(when it is available)... My frustration comes with those who choose to walk or ride down the middle of the street and are oblivious to fact that cars also use the city streets.As a driver I'm careful, drive the speed limit and respectful of everyone else..I just ask that others be mindful of that.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:36 a.m.

Truly a sad occurrence. As a driver, motorcyclist, and husband and friend of bicyclists, a couple of observations. Motorists - please watch for us. Put down the cellphone and pay attention to the road - we are smaller and less visible but we are out there, sometimes even in the winter. We have a right to use the road, same as you. We understand that you are going to pass if we are not at road speed and we will try to stay out of the way as much as possible - we only ask that you give us as much room as safely possible. In a tangle with you, we will always lose, but we both will suffer. Bicyclists - please also pay attention. You do have a right to use the road but be smart. Riding two (or three or more) abreast on the road when traffic is approaching is dangerous for both of us. Pay attention to the traffic coming up behind you. Single up and move right, especially in limited visibility areas. We will move over and give you as much room as safety allows but we are going to pass if you are not moving at road speed. Remember, the vehicle will be coming at you to avoid a head on collision - in a tangle with that vehicle, you will lose but we both will suffer. We are all here together - everyone please try a little harder to be safer. We will all get where we are going safely if we all work together to make everyone safe. Accidents happen but they can be reduced by the above. Take care.

Duane Collicott

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:32 a.m.

Amalie - I was asking where "the blog" is. Cindy said, "If you'd like to discuss that topic, please start a conversation on the blog."

Duane Collicott

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:13 a.m.

Cindy - you suggest starting a conversation on the blog. What is the blog? Where is the blog? From the front page of the paper, I don't see a link to any place called "the blog." Perhaps part of my confusion stems from the fact that itself is basically a blog.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:06 a.m.

acutally they do - if car drivers remember that that road is not theirs alone. limited access highways are only for cars, local roads are for everyone.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:44 a.m.

Scarry near miss last night-- It was after midnight and we were returning from the airport with our son. It was a long trans-atlantic flight for him made longer for all of us due to delays. Travelling westbound on where Washtenaw and Stadium split we felt nearly home. The roads were glistening from a recent rain and the traffic lights had all gone into their wee-hour blinking modes. My husband stopped at the red-flashing light. There was no visible or audible traffic, so he accelerrated. WAIT! Coming right at passenger windshield was an in-line skater, picking up good speed on the downward slope made faster because it was slick with rain. His face and min showed horror. My husband hit the brakes and the skater swerved just missing the reat quarter panel. He was dressed all in black and without any lights or reflectors (which would not have helped in this case because he was coming from the north: a right angle from our headlights). I can imagine that he saw. A car that had stopped at the flashing red light. I also imagine that because the car stopped, he assumed we saw him somewhere at the apex of the hill. Everyday on the our roads, logical assumptions are made so that traffic flows without hindrance. Everytime I get on a roadway I am merging with other traffic already there. I watch oncoming speed, look for indications of turning or lane changing. etcetera Motorized and non-motorized vehicles do not mix well-enough to continue with the current "share the road" operandi. Something better is needed. Motorized vehicles should be assigned to the roads and non-motorized vehicles (pedestrians, bikes, longboards, in-line skated) would be assigned to walkways that resemble running tracks more than sidewalks. Road and intersection infrastructure does not adequately support multiple transportation vehicles, so instead of intalling bike lanes on our thoroughfares. Lets replace the sidewalks with wider lanes of asphalt. The value of a grassy median between motorized and non-motorized vehicles is the value of human lives saved.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:35 a.m.

This is indeed a sad event. I ride this road all the time and usually feel secure since it has a shoulder to ride on, almost as wide as a bike lane. I hope this will serve as a wakeup call for drivers and cyclists to drive/ride carefully in all weather conditions.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:15 a.m.

I read this bicyclist story via the "AnnArbor.Com" newsletter. I was invited to subscribe to that newsletter, and it was sent to me by AA.Com. The "headline" of today's newsletter was the bicyclist story. I clicked the link for more information, and was directed to a screen full of Wolverine football info. So, the link was defective, and in this somber case, troubling. I then found the "rest of the story" on the bicyclist by navigating my way through the "news" tab. I was troubled to see that AA.Com had reported only 74 or so words on this story. Meanwhile, there was a wealth of information via the posts of individuals who had been at the accident site. The reporter had included no such information. I then posted a comment complaining about the defective link and skimpy journalism. I received an e-mail from Jim Knight of AA.Com. It said that "I took your comment down from the thread because it's not on topic." I then called Jim. We had a frank discussion about defective links (Jim had not reviewed the AA.Com newsletter, and was surprised at the erroneous link.) We also discussed the content (or lack of content) in the story. Jim indicated that AA.Com was waiting for the official police verison before reporting more, and observed that eyewitnesses can be unreliable. I find this frightening. If AA.Com is going to wait for the official police version of events before reporting to the community, we won't need AA.Com. We can just accept whatever the police tell us and be done with it. What does it say if AA.Com won't report on eyewitness information, especially when the same information was corroborated by numerous citizens? Meanwhile this morning, I have read the Detroit Free Press online, and have read the New York Times in print. The latter, of course, pretty much sets the standard in journalism. And for those on the right, I'll read the Wall Street Journal in an hour or so (also an excellent paper.) I am very concerned over the future of "journalism" in Ann Arbor. I read a story pertaining to a bicyclist's death (I am an avid cycler.) I got U of M football instead. When I found the "story" it was more of an anaecdote. I expressed concern about exactly that "story" and had those comments deleted by AA.Com because they were not "on topic." And finally, I was told that more info had to await the police version of things. Wow.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:44 a.m.

The victim was a great great man who touched a lot of people's lives. He will be missed dearly.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 7:38 a.m.

Thanks, Cindy. It's a tragedy, and our thoughts should be with EVERYONE involved.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 6:41 a.m.

My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of the cyclist as well as to the driver of the car. Greater attention needs to be applied when on the road whether driving, riding, walking, etc. Limit the number of distractions and keep our eye on the ball! We all share the roadways in and around Ann Arbor. Let's look out for eachother.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 5:43 a.m.

Was the victim commuting? My prayers are with all involved.

Carol P

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : midnight

As a long time friend of the victim, I just want to thank everyone for trying to save his life. This is such a tragic accident and his loss will be felt forever.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 11:04 p.m.

This was indeed a sad accident. But before extolling the dangers of bicycling, I'd like to remind everyone that bicycle related deaths are so rare that they get front page coverage when they do happen. Unless there's something especially horrific about an automobile accident, it's generally not even treated as news. Heck, think about the traffic news - a whole area of the news devoted to tracking those pesky auto accidents that slow us down.

Mark Hergott

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

This is an unmitigated tragedy. I commute into Ann Arbor township by way of Geddes road, and I always do my best to give bicyclists a wide berth whenever I pass them. It is a shared responsibility, but motorists, being in no real danger from the results of a car-bicycle collision should always take extra care.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 9:09 p.m.

I feel very sad for the cyclist and his family, and for the driver too. I don't live far from the accident site and this is a scary place for bicyclists. I've always wanted to cycle to work, but this confirms my fear that it is impossible to do it safely with the present road situation. Drivers just do not pay attention or share the road. They jabber on cellphones, send text messages, fool with their hair, etc. I won't ride on a main road anymore except where there is a separate bike path or sidewalk, or at an absolute minimum a designated bike lake. It's too bad to have to give up a great form of exercise and green transportation, but I'm just not willing to risk my life to that extent.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 9:06 p.m.

My daughter and I had just arrived at the scene after it had happened. We seen the man who had hit the cyclist and he was sitting down in his van with his head in his hands. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the family involved. I do know CPR, and hope that all who read this will consider to get the training so they will be prepared. Life is short, make everyday meaningful.

Family Cook

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 9:02 p.m.

My deepest sympathies to all involved. How tragic. Please remember to wear a certified and well-fitted helmet when you ride. Stay alert.

Ryan McGee

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:50 p.m.

Tragic. I wish there was a way to prevent these things happening in the future. I love riding my bike, but it scares me that it carries such a risk.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:49 p.m.

I was there and was one of the people calling for someone who knew CPR. We tried...we couldn't get him to breathe or get a pulse. It was the most horrific thing I have ever seen. And I did talk briefly with the young man who hit him. He was very upset and I feel so bad for him as well. Please, take extra caution each time you drive down Maple and you see a bicyclist; Go slow, keep your eyes on the road...such an unnessicary death.

Lisa C.

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:48 p.m.

I was one of those driving by and was asked if I knew CPR. What a helpless feeling. Perhaps we should all think about taking a CPR class. One never knows when someone will be in need. Our prayers go out to all - such a tragedy.

Patti Smith

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:43 p.m.

I agree with what the poster said re: paying attention all around. I am a bicyclist and a driver (more driving than biking) and I have seen such careless behavior. When I am biking, I know that I am not going to "win" anything with a car and it's going to be me who gets hurt more. I am so sorry for the victim, the driver and the families :(


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:40 p.m.

I was on my way home from work and I saw the person who hit the bicyclist. He had his head in his hands, and was very distressed. I'm a nurse and this hit me so hard. I want him to know my family will be praying for him as well as the victim. I can't imagine what he must feel like. He has to live with this for the rest of his life, just like the family of the victim. I'm so sorry anybody has to endure this.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:39 p.m.

Right now, our thoughts and prayers should be with the victim of this tragedy. There is a shared responsibility of all vehicles on the road. As a cyclist AND driver, I have to attention...regardless of whether you are in a car, on a bike or jogging, etc. Life is precious. My sincerest condolences go out to our lost fellow bicyclist and his family and loved ones. I will say a prayer for all those affected by this horrible tragedy. Drive and ride safely, everyone.

Bob Wheaton

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:12 p.m.

Mr. Hritz, We're continuing to follow this story at As of now, police are not releasing any additional details. Please check back for updates.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 7:31 p.m.

There is no bike path on this stretch of Maple (which is very close to my home.) My son was in the area before the police arrived -- said the people there were going from car to car looking for someone who knew CPR. There are a LOT of cyclists on this stretch of Maple -- a bike path would be nice, but driver caution is obviously of the utmost importance. The speed limit is 50, but drivers often go so much faster than that. In the time that I began this "note" the article has been updated. May God bless the family of this cyclist! What a tragedy.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 7:04 p.m.

Ugh is right. I ride here on my bike frequently. It is a long, straight stretch of road and drivers have a good sight-line. A flashing tail light if fine but drivers must be paying attention for that to be of use. I hope this cyclist isn't too badly hurt.

Ann English

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 6:58 p.m.

Can't tell if the road photographed above has bike lanes; if it does, somewhere else along the road is a sign indicating it's for bicycles. Hope Ann Arbor remains a very bicycle-friendly community, but some personal safety responsibility on the part of the individual cyclist can only be shouldered by the cyclist him/herself. I know, it is too early to assign blame to either the motorist or bicyclist; I just now started wondering if the car hydroplaned.