So-called ghost bikes are often used to mark the location where a cyclist has died.
So-called ghost bikes are often used to mark the location where a cyclist has died.
Photo by Sam Levin

Cycling Dangers: At Least Five Colorado Cyclists Killed in Three Months

The death yesterday, July 10, of a Loveland cyclist after being struck by an SUV is at least the fifth in Colorado since May. This toll underscores the potential dangers associated with more and more cyclists hitting roadways clogged with drivers during warm weather months.

We explored this topic last year in multiple posts. For instance, we told the story of Mark Shelton, the target of a bike rage incident in Denver, and we also spoke with Denver Cruisers founder Brad Evans, who acknowledged that it can be scary riding bikes in Denver these days.

In addition, Colorado State Trooper Nate Reid revealed the common complaints cyclists and drivers share about each other against the backdrop of tragedies such as the death of cyclist Michelle Walters during the 2016 Boulder Ironman race.

Below are details about each of the cyclist deaths over the past three months. Note that three of the five involved sports-utility vehicles.

The late Alessandro Zarzur.
The late Alessandro Zarzur.
Family photo via BrazilianVoice.com

May 4

Alessandro Zarzur, nineteen, died after being hit by a truck in Sunshine Canyon.

Zarzur, a native of Brazil, was a student at the University of Colorado Boulder and a member of the school's triathlon team.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Zarzur was traveling at a rapid clip when he crossed a double yellow line. When he tried to brake, he fell off his bike directly in front of oncoming traffic.

Alcohol and/or drugs weren't factors in the crash, the CSP noted.

A photo of Charles Crenshaw from his obituary.
A photo of Charles Crenshaw from his obituary.

May 8

Charles Crenshaw, 69, was killed north of Longmont after being hit by an SUV.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Crenshaw, an avid cyclist, was struck as he attempted to turn from Nelson Road onto 65th Street — a route that crossed in front of a woman behind the wheel of a Ford Escape.

As in the case of Zarzur, whose death also took place in Boulder County, neither alcohol nor drugs were identified as a factor in the crash.

Steve Pye and family in an image shared on the YouCaring.com fundraising site.
Steve Pye and family in an image shared on the YouCaring.com fundraising site.

June 8

Steve Pye, 54, was killed as he cycled along Wadsworth Boulevard in the vicinity of West Deer Creek Canyon Road.

The Colorado State Patrol said Pye and another cyclist were on the shoulder of the roadway when Pye rolled into the right traffic lane in front of a Toyota SUV.

Here's a remembrance of Pye as shared by VeloBrew Racing:

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, I am sharing with you, our cycling community...has lost one of it’s greats.

Steve Pye passed away today after being struck by a car in Colorado. He had been out riding and doing what he loves most.

Steve before moving to Colorado, was a Jacksonville native, who grew up racing bikes with his family and raced those bikes they did, where ever they could. He lived life, loved cycling and was a true soul of the sport who cared for our community with passion. Steve had a unique connection to this world and did the miles to be able to enjoy life to its fullest.

Todd, his sister and mother are en route to Colorado to be with his wife and sons.

Please put Steve and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

A YouCaring page launched after Pye's death is raising money for his family and a youth cycling program, Trips for Kids Denver.

A photo of Daniel Caprioglio shared with the Pueblo Chieftain.
A photo of Daniel Caprioglio shared with the Pueblo Chieftain.
Chieftain.com

June 9

Daniel Caprioglio, 56, was killed at around 7:30 a.m. as he rode his bicycle near the intersection of Colorado 47 and Pete Jimenez Parkway in the Pueblo area.

Caprioglio died after being struck by a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire driven by a nineteen-year-old driver. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Colorado State Patrol found no evidence that drugs or alcohol played a part in the tragedy.

According to his obituary, Caprioglio spent 24 years working as a biology professor at CSU Pueblo.

The intersection of 50th and Taft in Loveland, near where yesterday's fatal accident took place.
The intersection of 50th and Taft in Loveland, near where yesterday's fatal accident took place.
Google Maps

July 10

Yesterday, a 71-year-old man was killed in Loveland after being struck by an SUV.

At around 2:20 p.m. on July 10, the man was trying to turn from North Taft Avenue onto West 50th Street when a Ford Escape — the same make and model involved in Charles Crenshaw's death — collided with him. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Thus far, the identity of the man hasn't been released. Authorities don't believe the 26-year-old driver of the Escape had been using drugs or alcohol.

If you have any other information about this incident, you're encouraged to contact Loveland police Officer Justin Lorenzen at 970-667- 2151.

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