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Cyclist In Critical Condition After Darting In Front of Truck

Early investigation into the incident shows the driver of the vehicle was not at fault.

Traffic was blocked on Santa Margarita Parkway at Alma Aldea on Aug. 27, 2013, for an accident involving a truck and a bicyclist. Photo/Barbie Cherrison
Traffic was blocked on Santa Margarita Parkway at Alma Aldea on Aug. 27, 2013, for an accident involving a truck and a bicyclist. Photo/Barbie Cherrison
By Martin Henderson

The bicyclist who was struck by a vehicle Tuesday afternoon on Santa Margarita Parkway remained in critical condition Wednesday at a local hospital.

The 34-year-old male was taken by ambulance to Mission Hospital after apparently darting in front of a truck going eastbound on Rancho Santa Margarita's main drag. 

According to Lt. Brian Schmutz, the chief of police services, the cyclist was in the No. 1 lane headed westbound. About 200 feet east of Alma Aldea, he crossed onto the median and attempted to cross the westbound lanes. 

An oncoming truck, in the No. 1 lane, struck the cyclist when he darted from the median. 

"The investigation is ongoing, but the early indication is that the truck driver was not at fault," Schmutz said. "The truck was going at or below the speed limit at the time of the incident."

The speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 mph.

There is a raised median where the cyclist attempted to cross in a move that has been variously described as bunny hopping across the median.

The injured man, who has sustained life threatening injuries, was not wearing a helmet. Schmutz was unsure of the victim's city of residence.

The incident occurred at 3:40 p.m., and a SigAlert in both directions was in effect until 7:30 p.m.

Because of the severity of the accident, the OCSD activated its major accident reconstruction team.

TELL US IN THE COMMENTS: What kind of close calls have you had involving a vehicle and bicycle? 
another mom August 29, 2013 at 08:07 AM
If he was wearing a helmet, I would have thought it was the man I almost hit the other day. I had the green arrow to turn left at the Dove Canyon waterfall. He came out of the Coto gate as I was beginning to turn. He rode as quickly as he could in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and honked my horn. He flashed a peace sign at me. You can imagine what I wanted to flash right back at him. My husband and I are avid cyclists and have been for over 30 years. Forgetting that a bike is subject to the same traffic laws as a car is the quickest way to get yourself killed. There's no protective bubble around you on a bike. The cars are bigger, so don't challenge them, especially when they have the right of way--they'll win every time. I hope the rider recovers from his injuries, and I very sorry for what the driver of the truck will have to live with since it sounds like he wasn't at fault.
Jackie M. August 31, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Does anyone know if there are any updates on the cyclist?

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