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Troubling start to cycling season in Northeast Ohio

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-08 00:02:19-04

CLEVELAND — A plea is being made by those who use bicycles to get around town after another bicyclist was killed navigating the streets of Northeast Ohio.

A 66-year-old man was hit and killed on Lake Road in Avon Lake.

RELATED: 64-year-old driver charged after deadly hit-skip involving cyclist in Avon Lake

It's the second serious cycling crash on that stretch of road in just the last month.

"I don't drive, so biking is my main mode of transportation. I'm biking almost every day," Ashley Shaw said.

Shaw is still suffering following her crash with a car while riding her bike down Lorain Avenue in 2017.

"It knocked me off my bike and ended up causing a brain bleed. It has impacted almost every aspect of my life," Shaw said.

Shaw shared her story, which includes a lot of close calls, on the heels of those two serious crashes on Lake Road.

The first victim, Patty Banks, survived.

RELATED: Avon Lake police find vehicle that struck a bicyclist

"She's broken her pelvis, she broke her knee cap, she's dislocated her clavicle, she has a concussion and she's had over 200 stiches," Mike Cousino, Banks’ friend said.

The latest bicyclist struck, the 66-year-old man, died from his injuries.

"You're in a vulnerable position because you lack the metal cage, you lack the airbags and the protections that come along with a car," Jason Kuhn of Bike Cleveland said.

Police in Avon Lake charged 64-year-old Sharan Carr with aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop and OVI after they said she hit that bike rider and kept driving.

This troubling start to the cycling season in Northeast Ohio is getting the attention of Bike Cleveland.

In the last decade, bicycle related fatalities in Ohio have increased 22 percent, according to the bicycle advocacy group.

"We see the texting, we see the distraction, we see and feel the aggression of drivers," Kuhn said.

Cyclists are once again calling on drivers to give them enough space, at least a three-foot buffer when passing— and to be patient.

"Your 6-cylinder engine can help you get that extra 30 seconds that I may have delayed you. You can make it back up. We're out here doing something that's good for us and we just want to get home to our families and a little bit of patience on the part of motorists and a little bit of space helps us all get home safely," Cousino said.

Despite suffering a serious injury, Shaw is back on her bike.

"If a car hits a bicyclist it can be months, if not years for that cyclist to recover, so your patience is worth it," Kuhn said.

For Shaw, getting around town on two wheels will never be the same.

"It feels very scary when a driver comes very fast up behind you, especially after you've been in a crash. We're just trying to get to where we're going and we're trying to get there safely," Shaw said.