A Scourge of Hit-and-Runs

Recent weeks have been particularly brutal for bicyclists in Kansas and neighboring states, with a number of hit-and-run collisions leaving dead and wounded in their wake.

  • Topeka, KS, August 13, 2009: A minivan hit a 9-year-old boy riding his bicycle. The driver exited the vehicle briefly, then returned to the van and fled. The driver was later apprehended by police officers with the Topeka’s bicycle unit. Kimberly Ann Johnson, 26, was cited for inattentive driving, failure to provide insurance, leaving the scene of an injury accident, failure to report an accident and failure to give information and rended aid. She was cited and released by police. [link]

  • Jefferson County, CO, August 16, 2009: Denver attorney Jeffrey Detlefs, 57, was jailed and charged with drunken driving and child abuse after hitting a bicyclist with his Lexus (with his three children in the car), then driving away. “He stopped, got out of the car, looked at the bicyclist for a little while and decided he didn’t want to stick around,” said a witness. Detlefs’ license plate was dislodged by the collision, and left at the scene, which is how police tracked him down. The bicyclist, Rex Hegyi, who was seriously injured, also is an attorney, a deputy public defender in Jefferson County. [link]

  • Kansas City, MO, August 28, 2009: A bicyclist on Ward Parkway was struck by a silver Volvo car, which drove away without stopping. The cyclist was injured, but is expected to recover. Police are searching for the driver. [link]

  • Cumming, IA, August 30, 2009: Mark Grgurich, 54, of Des Moines was killed while riding his bicycle in Warren County, Iowa. The motorist who struck Grgurich left the scene and did not render aid. Police have seized a white 1986 Chevrolet pickup truck that they believe was involved in the death. The truck’s owner has not yet been identified. [link]

  • Tulsa, OK, September 1, 2009: 74-year-old Beverly Duffield was struck by an SUV as she was riding her bicycle. She died of massive injuries at the scene of the accident. Police say the driver didn’t stop at a stop sign as he exited a highway, then fled the scene. Police later arrested Roberto Salvador Alvelais-Torres, age 28, and charged him with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, failure to stop at the scene of a fatal accident, failure to stop at a stop sign, operating a vehicle without a driver’s license and not having insurance. [link]

  • Wichita, KS, September 6, 2009: 54-year-old cyclist Albert Pete suffered severe head trauma when he was hit by a dark-colored SUV, and the driver of the SUV fled the scene. The only witness to the hit and run is apparently a surveillance camera which captured video of a dark-colored SUV or pick up truck at the scene. Wichita police are asking for the public’s help in finding the vehicle involved in the crash. [link]

  • Colorado Springs, CO, September 7, 2009: 56-year-old cyclist hit by van, which left the scene. [link]

It’s amazing how many careless, cowardly, and selfish people are traveling on our public roads.

Be careful out there, people…

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]

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