CHP reported a 73 year old man lost his life when he collided with a Pontiac SUV Tuesday afternoon on Salinas Road near Lewis Road in Pajaro, California. Pajaro is the small Monterey County community across the Pajaro River from Watsonville.
Initial reports say the cyclist suddenly turned left in front of the northbound vehicle. I initially dismissed this as “Single Witness Suicide Swerve,” so-called because so many bike-vs-car collisions leave only a single witness who inevitably claims the cyclist suddenly swerved in front of the driver. News photos show a bent rear tire on the bike and smashed windshield on the Pontiac, suggesting a hit-from-behind at high speed.
Santa Cruz County cyclists who know this road, however, tell me a left turn across traffic is plausible. Sight lines are poor, traffic is fast, and close calls are apparently common on this popular recreational route.
The cyclist was in road kit and riding a road bike. If he was running GPS, hopefully the Highway Patrol can makes use of that information in their investigation.