BUTTE – A recently deadly accident involving a vehicle and a bicyclist in Butte has left one local cyclist with very mixed emotions.
“I feel sadness and I count my blessings because it could have been me,” said Butte cyclist Gina Evans.
A 70-year-old Washington man died after he was hit by the side-view mirror of a passing vehicle on Highway 2 Sunday afternoon. In 2010, Gina Evans was also hit by the side-view mirror of a passing truck while biking in Butte.
“Being that I was on my cross bike I was a little bit higher, otherwise the mirror would have hit my head. I did get whiplash, I did have two shoulder surgeries, punctured lung, broken rib,” said Evans.
Her incident and this recent tragedy remind cyclists and motorists that they have to safely share the roads.
“People have to remember that we are owners of a vehicle also, for the most part, we know the rules of the road and I believe that having patience will be less like to create patients in the future. As motorists respect that bicyclists are a slow-moving vehicle and have the same right as a motorist would at a slower pace,” said Evans.
She said cyclists must also take precautions.
“As you can see right here there’s a creek, there could be a car passing here, otherwise the cyclist would dump into the creek and the car would have to pay attention to the person on the bike without sending them into the creek. So I would want to pull off as safely as I can and almost get off my bike,” she said.
Gina adds that she and several of her friends in the cycling community are saddened by the incident that occurred on the highway, especially knowing that it could have been prevented.
“ And I pray for all this person’s loved ones and the effect that it takes on the cyclist community, know it hits people literally hard, especially for this gentleman to be on a tour on the Divide, enjoying life, seeing nature, living it,” said Evans.
The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating Sunday’s fatal accident and the identity of the victim has not been released as of Wednesday.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News