According to the California Highway Patrol, a driver fell asleep at the wheel and subsequently struck and killed a bicycle rider. The accident reportedly occurred on November 2nd at around 11:15 a. m.
The driver was apparently heading northbound on a highway when he crossed in the southbound lane, drove up an embankment and then back down before striking the bicyclist. As the bicycle was struck head-on by the car, it appears that the bicycle rider was killed on impact. The bicycle rider was on a 10-foot shoulder at the time of the accident. One highway patrol officer stated that there was nothing the bicycle rider could have done to avoid a collision.
There apparently have been other bicycle accidents in this same vicinity that have resulted in fatalities during the past few years. One bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident back in May of 2012. Another bicyclist was also killed in a hit-and-run accident in June of 2011.
This particular accident may require additional investigation. Though it appears apparent as to what occurred causing the death of the bicyclist, it is unclear why the driver fell asleep at the wheel while driving during the late morning hours.
Victims of bicycle accidents may wish to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney concerning what happened. Bicycle riders do have the same rights as other drivers on the road. Because of the vulnerability of bicycle riders riding upon the road, injuries suffered can be particularly traumatic. Motorists often fail to see bicycle riders on the road. In other circumstances, drivers might not even take into consideration that a bicycle rider may be present.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "CHP: Dozing driver struck, killed bicyclist north of Santa Cruz," Stephen Baxter, Nov. 4, 2013