Two cyclists injured during championship race
July 24, 2012
Two cyclists were injured on Saturday during the Chalk Creek Road Race when a large group of bicyclists became tangled and crashed.
According to Team Excelerator President Ben Towery, whose bike team competed in the race, Mike Loveland, a Lieutenant with Utah Highway Patrol, and Ogden resident Travis Winder were seriously injured as they were sprinting towards the finish line.
According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Report, the two bicyclists were taken to the University of Utah Medical Center by ambulance. Summit County Detective Sergeant Ron Bridge said that the exact number of bicyclists involved in the crash is unknown.
Towery said that a bicyclist in front of Loveland suddenly changed direction near the finish line, causing Loveland to crash and Winder to run into him. Loveland was released from the hospital after being treated for a fractured pelvis and broken collarbone. Winder is still in the hospital recovering, according to Towery.
"Travis’s wife is on our bike team," he said. "And all of our support is behind him and his young family. He suffered a severe concussion, compounded collarbone, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. They had to stabilize his concussion before they could begin surgery."
Towery added that since the race was the Master’s State Championship, the riders were giving it their all.
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"A lot was on the line and this is the reason we wear bike helmets, accidents happen a lot," he said. "Unfortunately, there is nothing to protect our collarbones and other body parts."
Bridge said that when the crash happened, an official race-vehicle ran over the rear tire of a bicycle but no one was on the bike and the vehicle did not cause any injuries.
During the bike race, a Sheriff’s deputy also witnessed a vehicle make an improper lane change and head toward oncoming traffic. Bridge said that due to statements the driver made to the deputy; the case was passed to the Summit County Attorney’s Office for screening of charges of aggravated assault if it is found that the driver intentionally drove toward the bike racers.
"Right now he is only being cited for a minor traffic violation, but the Attorney’s Office could press more serious charges if they find that he drove toward the bike racers on purpose," Bridge said.
According to the Sheriff’s report, the driver stated during the traffic stop that he "intentionally went towards the cyclists."
The race featured a 47-and 97-mile course and went from Coalville, along Chalk Creek Road to the Wyoming border.