Location: Oklahoma

Death By Distraction

David Lee Harrison of Enid, Oklahoma was killed after being struck from behind by a car.

Harrison, 46, was riding his Allez Elite Vittoria bicycle when he was hit by a 2008 Toyota Avalon driven by Duard Spleth, 84, of Waukomis. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, the cause of the accident was listed as “distraction inside vehicle”. Spleth said that he looked down to adjust the air conditioning controls on the steering wheel and hit Harrison’s bicycle from behind.

The accident is under investigation, according to the OHP, but charges have not yet been filed.

The collision occurred on Tuesday, April 29th, at at 5:40 p.m. and Harrison, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and admitted in critical condition with head and trunk injuries. He died about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Harrison worked as a physician’s assistant in the emergency department at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center under Dr. Michael Ogle, who said “He didn’t make a fuss out of caring for the patient. He worked 55 hours a week for me, he was a hard worker. It will take two people to fill that hole.” David leaves behind a wife and 2 boys.

Read more: Bicyclist is critical and Man killed in bicycle wreck remembered from The Enid News & Eagle, and Bicyclist Dies After Wreck from KSBI-TV in Oklahoma City.


About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

3 responses to “Death By Distraction”

  1. This is truly sad. I always hate to hear of these tragedies. Its not something we experience a lot here in the Midwest but as cycling gains in popularity and gas prices go up, I fear that these types of accidents will become all too common.

  2. Randy says:

    In the wake of David’s death, some people in Enid are calling for the city to add more bike and walking paths:

    “Tuesday’s tragic bicycle accident on South Oakwood is a poignant reminder of the need for bike and walking paths in Enid. More and more people are wanting to be physically fit and get more exercise, but for walkers and bicycle riders the options are limited. We think the city should consider sidewalks and paths with every road improvement.”

    Off-road paths are a step in the right direction, but even more important are on-street facilities so that motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians can co-exist peacefully and safely.

    Read more: Bicycle, walking paths are quality of life, safety issue.

  3. Megan says:

    My uncle was a happy man who got his fill from life. He died doing what he loved and his death will surely lead the way for inovation on bicycle safety measure; at the very least it will make an impact in the community for motorist to learn that the road is shared with motorcyclists’ and bycyclists’ alike.