Cyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run Overnight in OKC

BicycleCrashFeb658-year-old Joseph Edward Helmka was struck by a vehicle around 3:00 AM last night near the corner of NW 10th and MacArthur.  He was spotted by a passing motorist and was rushed to the hospital but he expired before arriving at the hospital.  Police are asking anyone with information regarding this crash to contact them at 405-235-7300.

News Sources:

NewsOK: http://okbik.es/15c

KOCO: http://okbik.es/15d

News 9: http://okbik.es/15e

KFOR: http://okbik.es/15f


Spencer Family Continues Search for Hit-and-Run Driver

It’s been two years since the Oklahoma cycling community was shocked by two bicycle fatalities in less than 48 hours both involving long time cyclists.  One of those incidents involved the hit-and-run killing of Alan Spencer.  The driver in that crash has never been identified and police now consider the case a cold one.  As the anniversary of the crash approaches, the Spencer family repeats their plea for information in the case and for the driver of the car to come forward:

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

The family believes that a black or dark truck or SUV with a black guard may have hit and killed Alan Spencer.  If you have any information involving this incident, you should call CrimeStoppers at (405)-235-7300.  You can remain anonymous.


Tulsa Cyclist Dies in Hit-and-Run Crash

The Tulsa World is reporting that a cyclist that was hit on Saturday in a hit-and-run crash has died:

A bicyclist seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision Saturday has died.

Mowery Funeral Home identified the victim as Bobby Richardson, 51, of Owasso.

A motorist found Richardson in the roadway on 101st East Avenue near 12th Street at about 8:30 p.m., officers at the scene said.

via Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run Saturday dies | Tulsa World.

The cyclist was found by a passing motorist but was unable to describe the car that hit the cyclist.  A silver sedan was seen in the area around the time of the crash, but police are not sure the vehicle was involved in the crash.

Anyone with any information is being asked to contact Tulsa Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677) or to leave a tip online at http://tulsaworld.com/crimestoppers .

 


Appeal for Justice

This letter from Brandon Neal letter appealing for justice in the recent Debra Miller crash near Stillwater appeared in this morning’s Oklahoman:

I’m a cyclist who is alive today for a number of reasons; among them are taking reasonable care on the road and good luck. This month, Debra Miller of Stillwater died — as did my friends Jim Socia and Michael Argall before her — killed by a driver who failed to notice her on the road. In the case of my friends, the drivers weren’t charged with a crime. I fear the driver in Miller’s case will likewise go uncharged.  We can’t trust our district attorneys to prosecute these cases unless we make it clear that the case has priority above all the others that a DA’s office handles each month. All too often, we’re left with a dead friend or relative and the tacit endorsement of the sun as a mitigating circumstance, of alcohol or drugs as the only impairment worth pursuing, and that the death of a person in the road is not the responsibility of the person in control of or failing to control a vehicle. Prosecuting the driver in Miller’s case would provide a clear message to motorists that they’re responsible for everything that happens around them when behind the wheel. No distraction — sun, text messaging or anything else — is a viable excuse for ending someone’s life.

via Another cyclist dies on an Oklahoma road | NewsOK.com.

I’ve always thought of driving as something akin to gun ownership.  It is a responsibility that must be taken seriously at all times and in all situations.  I believe that much of the carnage that takes place on our roads today is due to the cavalier attitude we give towards transportation (and that includes cyclists as well).  Moving at high speed is an endeavor with some risk and requires a high degree of responsibility.  Legal recognition of this fact would go a long way towards making our roads the kind of place they need and should be.


Request for Driver Attention Gets a Voice

Matt Reynolds, from the Bicycle Store, was interviewed on KOSU yesterday and, in my opinion, stated most clearly and concisely what we would all like to happen especially in light of our recent tragedies:

Matt Reynolds, a cyclist and employee with the Bicycle Store in Oklahoma City, says he hopes this [the recent string of crashes] will help raise awareness for motorists to start paying attention to the road.

“A bicycle is a reliable means of transportation and should be granted the same types of privileges and rights for safe operation as anybody else that’s on the road.”

via Cyclists Call for More Driver Awareness | KOSU Radio.


Cyclist Killed in Apparent Hit-and-Run Crash

So, following up on the request for information I posted earlier, it appears the cyclist in question was involved in an apparent hit and run crash.

About 8:15 a.m., a passer-by reported a bicyclist in a ditch in the 12600 block of N Midwest Boulevard, just north of NE 122, Patty said.

The bicyclist, identified only as a white male, was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

"This appears to be a hit-and-run," Patty said.

Via: Oklahoma City police investigating two fatal accidents

I still find it absolutely disturbing and wrong that this kind of incident can be referred to as an accident.  Crash, attack or vehicular homicide all seem appropriate, but when it comes to a hit-and-run I can hardly think that the word accident applies.

It still appears that the cyclist has not yet been identified, so if you can provide additional information please contact the police.