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San Diego Bike Coalition board member in critical condition after rear-end collision


kerrykunsman-image003
Kerry Kunsman.
(Photo: San Diego County
Bicycle Coalition)

Kerry Kunsman, a 67-year old bicycle safety instructor and board member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is in critical condition after being hit from behind by a pickup driver while riding near Tillamook yesterday.

According to the Oregon State Police, Kunsman, a resident of San Diego California, was riding westbound on Highway 131 between Tillamook and Netarts Bay (map) when he was struck from behind by 74-year old Oceanside (Oregon) resident Frank Bohannon, who was driving a Ford F350 pickup.

The collision occurred at milepost five in the apex of a right-have and curve. As you can see in the photos below, Netarts Hwy has two lanes in this location and no paved shoulder. The posted speed limit on this highway is 55 mph, but there’s an advisory speed of 35 mph posted for this specific corner. The investigation into the collision is ongoing and no enforcement decision has been made. Kunsman is suffering from a brain injury and is being treated at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

This is the latest in an alarming spate of rear-end collisions involving bicycle riders on rural Oregon highways in the past month.

The collision occurred in this corner, heading westbound on Netarts Hwy.
Oregon State Police photo of the scene.

In their official statement about the collision, OSP shared this warning:

OSP & ODOT urge all drivers to be watchful for vulnerable highway users such as bicyclists and pedestrians on all roads. Useful safety tips and information is available on ODOT’s Bicycle Safety website.

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Kerry Kunsman is a well-known advocate for bicycling in San Diego. He’s Chair of the Education Committee on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors and he’s a League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor (LCI). According to a bio on the SDCBC website, Kunsman was Instructor of the Year in 2006.

SDCBC has posted the following message about the collision on their Facebook page:

Please put your prayers towards Portland Oregon, Kerry Kunsman was hit by a truck yesterday on his trip from Border to Border. He is in critical condition with a severe brain injury. His wife and daughter just got up there. Kerry is a long time Bike Coalition pillar and LCI instructor- educating San Diego County bicyclists and motorists. Again… please keep him in your prayers.

This section of highway is a well-known part of the Oregon Coast Bike Route and it’s on the map of the Oregon Coast published by the Adventure Cycling Association. I rode this stretch of highway last September while participating in the Amgen People’s Coast Classic and it was part of the route again this year.

UPDATE, 9/22 at 6:48 am: According to a Legacy Emanuel Hospital spokesperson, Mr. Kunsman died from injuries sustained in this collision around midnight Sunday.

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