Police say bicyclist in ICU after crash - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Police say bicyclist in ICU after crash

A 41-year-old bicyclist is in intensive care after being hit by a car while riding his bike in Lake Charles last night. At last word,  Marbin Reyes-Sauzo was in Christus St. Patrick Hospital. The investigation continues, but police say it appears the cyclist was at fault:

As the appearance of the bicycle would suggest, Reyes-Sauzo was seriously hurt when he was struck around 8:30 Monday night. Police say, at the scene, he was unconscious and unable to speak. It happened on Highway 14 at Hillcrest.

Lake Charles Police Corporal Scott Dougherty says the driver indicated she tried unsuccessfully to avoid hitting Reyes-Sauzo.

"The driver of the second vehicle stated she was northbound on Highway 14 and the bicyclist was riding in circles in the middle of her lanes of travel. And she stated she tried to go around him in the turning lane, at which time he proceeded to enter the turning lane, at which time, she struck him," said Dougherty.

He says the officer at the scene thought he smelled alcohol on Reyes-Sauzo, but it's too soon to say whether alcohol was a factor in the crash. Dougherty says more often than not, cyclists are to blame in crashes between themselves and vehicles. And they believe that's the case here.

"The bicyclist not adhering to traffic law which is required by the State of Louisiana. IF you're going to ride a bicycle on the roadway you have to adhere to all the laws-- stopping at stop signs, riding your bike with traffic. You're assigned a half a lane for your bicycle and people passing you are supposed to give you three feet minimum distance when passing you, going in the same direction," said Dougherty.

He says riding with traffic, following traffic laws and wearing a helmet are all things that could save a cyclist's life. It's believed Reyes-Sauzo was not wearing a helmet, though the investigation is ongoing. Dougherty says it's also important for bicyclists to be aware of their surroundings and not to wear headphones while riding because you can't hear the traffic.

Dougherty says increased education for people operating bicycles and stricter enforcement of laws would help prevent accidents. For more information on bicycles and traffic rules, click here.

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