Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Cyclist dies in crash at end of Portland race"


PORTLAND, Ore. - A cyclist died when he crashed headfirst near the finish line during a road race at Portland International Raceway on Tuesday night.

The 29-year-old cyclist from Milwaukie, whose name was withheld pending family notification, was 300 yards from finishing the 40-mile race when he lost control of his bike, said Lt. Allen Oswalt, a spokesman for Portland Fire and Rescue.

The cyclist slammed headfirst into a steel post filled with concrete.

“He was wearing a helmet, but it didn’t do much at 30 mph,” Oswalt said.

Oswalt said the cyclist suffered “huge head trauma” and died at the scene.

Race organizer Jeff Mitchem said the cyclist, who had several years of racing experience, was in a pack sprinting toward the finish line when he tried to pass on a straightaway and veered off course.

“As soon as he hit it, the sound was such that we knew it was serious,” said Mitchem, who also participated in the race sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.

Portland International Raceway is designed for auto racing, and the cyclist hit a support for a fence that keeps cars from the crowd, Mitchem said.

Mitchem said medical personnel treated the cyclist within seconds, but there was no chance to save him.

© 2005 The Associated Press.

No comments: