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Wichita Bicyclist Killed By Drunk Driver In Hit-and-Run

A Wichita bicyclist, Kristina Brown, was struck and killed Thursday evening, and the driver has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

A witness followed the truck and reported the collision to police, who later arrested the driver, Randall Duane Myers, who was charged and booked into Sedgwick County Jail.

According to Kansas.com:

A 35-year-old man who was out celebrating his birthday has been arrested in connection with a collision that killed a woman riding a bicycle in southeast Wichita on Thursday night, police said.

An investigation indicates a man and woman were riding bicycles north on Oliver in the curb lane when the woman, who was the trailing member of the pair, was struck by a northbound truck at about 9:50 p.m. in the 2600 block of South Oliver, Capt. Brent Allred said. That’s near Pawnee.

The truck kept driving, not stopping after the collision. Kristina Brown, 39, died at the scene, Allred said. Her riding partner was not hurt.

A woman driving behind the truck that hit the bicyclist kept following the truck as it left the scene and called 911 to report the accident, Allred said. She reported the truck’s tag number and even alerted dispatchers to where the man parked the company truck he was driving – at the tree-trimming business where he works. She also noted that the driver left the lot in another vehicle.

Officers contacted the owner of the company and were given the name of the man using the truck, Allred said. When Myers drove up to his residence in the 1900 block of South Main, Allred said, officers were waiting to talk to him.

Myers turned 35 on Thursday, Allred said, and he had been out celebrating with a friend before the accident.

Allred lauded the witness who called 911 and gave information about the truck.

“This is what we look for,” he said. “This is what we want. This lady did an awesome job.”

KSN includes some heartbreaking details:

34-year-old Christina R. Brown was riding her bicycle near Oliver and Pawnee with her fiance Jason when a truck hit her from behind and fled.

Those close to the victim say Brown and her fiance were both wearing property safety gear. What would have been the victims mother-in-law says that Brown was a bicycle enthusiast and enjoyed riding her bike everywhere with her fiance.

The KSN article also sees this as a good opportunity to lecture bicyclists about roadway safety:

Do what you can to be visible, also be predictable, so signal appropriate turns. Part of being visible means that cyclists have the appropriate gear on their bicycle. This includes reflectors and working brakes. These are both major requirements the city has put in place for those who choose to ride at night.

By all accounts, the bicyclists were operating their bicycles legally and responsibly, as the vast majority of bicyclists do every day. This death appears to be 100% the responsibility of the driver, who brutally killed an innocent person because he operated a dangerous vehicle while intoxicated, then tried to escape responsibility for his crime.

So why the lecture? It seems to be in very poor taste to admonish bicyclists about following the rules of the road, when Ms. Brown was killed while doing exactly that.

Additional coverage from Kansas.com, KAKE, WIBW

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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 “Wichita Bicyclist Killed By Drunk Driver In Hit-and-Run”

  1. Brian Carr says:

    The Salina paper did the same thing last year. It’s as if they don’t want to alienate motor vehicle drivers. Well the car was at fault but you cyclists are wrong sometimes so there.

  2. Mike L says:

    I think they are just saying that we are the most vulnerable on the road; but they have a poor way of saying it. Why not enter that conversation with “Never get behind the wheel drunk.” and “We drivers have the largest responsibility of protecting others that are using the roadway, and are more vulnerable.” If you saw a dog or a child walking along the curb, would you not move over or slow down? Of course they would; but a cyclist? They don’t think twice about it.

  3. Sean says:

    They lecture us because this is a brutally car-centric society. Ten thousand years of history where everyone shared the road was tossed into the dustbin of history in the 20s and 30s because the industries built around cars spent a ton of money promoting the idea that roads are only for cars.

    The only solution, as I see it, is to get rid of cars altogether. The only way I see that happening is for gas to rise to $10 a gallon, yet even then we have people feverishly working to find a way to power our cars by some other means (such as batteries.)