Bicyclist killed on Highway 47
The wreck occurred about 5 p.m. about three-quarters of a mile north of Highway 99W. Highway 47 was closed and traffic detoured for several hours during the investigation.
Oregon State Police gave this account:
Huapeo Garcia was riding on the northbound shoulder on a straight stretch of Highway 47. A white Ford van driven by Richard Phillip Travis King, 45, also was northbound. The van drifted onto the shoulder and hit the bicycle from behind.
The cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The van driver, who was not hurt, stopped at the scene and cooperated with police.
The investigation is continuing. State police said they are looking at driver fatigue as a possible contributing factor.
Sgt. Brad Hessel of OSP's McMinnville office said both motorists and cyclists need to use caution when using roadways.
When a motorist approaches and overtakes a cyclist, he should give the bike as much room as possible. A driver should move toward the center of the road, even crossing the center line if there's no oncoming traffic, as they pass the bike. If there is oncoming traffic, the driver should slow down and wait until it's safe to go around the bike, giving it as much room as possible.
Cyclists, in turn, should ride as far to the right as possible. If several bikes are traveling together, riders should go single file.
"It's common sense. We just have to share the road," Hessel said.