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Cyclist killed in collision with vehicle in Apex

Posted July 11, 2009
Updated July 12, 2009

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— An avid cycling advocate died after a collision with a vehicle on South Salem Street, near the Apex Peakway, shortly after noon Saturday, Apex police said.

The cyclist was identified as Bruce W. Rosar, 52, of Cary. Friends said when Rosar got on his bike on Saturday moments before the wreck, he was in control.

Cyclist killed in collision with vehicle in Apex Cyclist dies in Apex wreck

Police Capt. Ann Stephens said a preliminary investigation shows the vehicle was traveling south on Salem Street and the bicycle was going north on Salem Street. The cyclist turned left toward the Apex Peakway and crossed into the path of the vehicle.

Stephens said the vehicle involved in the wreck stopped at the scene.

"The guy (driving the vehicle) didn't even have a chance to react. It was like instantaneous. He just went 'boom' and hit the car," witness Peter Schenck said.

Stephens said there appears to be several vehicles whose occupants may have witnessed the accident but did not stop. Anyone who saw the wreck should call the Apex Police Department at 919-362-8661.

Rosar, owner of Triangle Roadway Bicycling, had been bicycling in the Triangle for more than two decades, according to his Web site. He served as the director of the North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance and was a founding member of the NC Coalition for Bicycle Driving.

“He was passionate about pretty much anything about bicycles, and he put a lot of his heart and soul into making bicycling safer," said Scott Chilcote, of the NC Bicycle Club.

Friends said Rosar was a defensive driving expert.

“He wanted you to be aware that your bicycle was a vehicle on the road and had the same status as automobiles,” Chilcote said.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, League of American Bicyclists Board Chair Amanda Eichstaedt said Rosar was elected to the league’s national board in March 2008 and as recently as late June traveled to San Jose, Calif., for a board meeting and the group’s Smart Cycling conference.

“It is a tragic irony that Bruce was one of our certified League Cycling Instructors with a passion for safe riding; he was active throughout the Raleigh/Durham area promoting cycling and cyclist safety,” Eichstaedt said. “He will be missed terribly, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and riding colleagues.”

In recent weeks, the police department has recorded an increase number in cyclists in the area. Police have also seen more complaints from motorists that cyclists are not following the rules of the road, Stephens said.

In the past month, Stephens said, police have started a campaign to make cyclists aware of the dangers on the road and remind them that they are required by law to follow the same rules of the road as motorists.

58 Comments

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  • Mr William Jul 14, 9:42 a.m.

    Hey the spandex crowd will not ride on slow streets with cul-de-sacs and kids playing in the street. I ride a bike lots and have finally found that blasting my AirZound next to a 4-wheeler's open window is my best defensive driving skill when I feel I am not seen, but need to be heard. I ride a comfy 15 MPH recumbent so I can look straight ahead and sit on about 2-3 inches of cushy foam rubber.

    Those poor L. Armstrong wanna-be folks look down at their front wheel so much and must have a sore keister, so that make affect their driving?

    I stay off two-lane roads. Simple.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Jul 14, 8:12 a.m.

    Cyclists need to stick to riding in neighborhoods and not on city street. It's sad this accident happened, but I could have been prevented. Maybe this will be the sign to cyclists to stay off busy roads.

  • Voice of Reason 23 Jul 13, 3:46 p.m.

    "There are a lot of paved trails in Wake County"

    Have you ever tried riding a bike at 20mph down a paved trail? Why, you could come around a blind curve and come up behind someone walking and have to slam your brakes on. Then you might have to wait a while riding really slowly until you can pass them safely. It's dangerous.

    (Yes, the parallel is intentional)

  • DickHefner Jul 13, 3:24 p.m.

    Tragic. There are a ton of cyclists in N Raleigh that like to use very narrow roads when they travel in packs just north of 540 and in my opinion they are a danger to themselves and motorists. It's too bad there aren't enough right of way or shoulder room for them to travel in, but there isn't. I think most understand they are taking their lives into their own hands. If not they might want to consider what might to them seem like a good form of exercise when they ride these narrow roads with cars a poor choice that could have grave effects on themselves, their family and friends. I really hate to hear about things like this, but anyone who travels our roads knows its just a matter of time before it happens again. I really wish they could find roads with wider shoulders to ride on. There are a lot of paved trails in Wake County. So sad that someone who seemed to be trying to make things better met his end this way.

  • workerbee Jul 13, 3:19 p.m.

    I finally looked at the map and realized this is the exact same intersection where on the same day earlier around 8:45AM, a little blue Honda came right at me from Apex BBQ road as a friend and I were riding north on Old US1. He was making a left, came right straight at us and then at the last second made the turn missing us by a foot. I'm sure it was all in fun to him but if I had fallen trying to get out of his way, my name would have been in the news as well. I hope that driver reads this as I'd like to ask you.."Can you live with yourself if you kill or maim someone playing a game like that?" And believe me folks, he's not the only one out there that thinks they have a right to "send me a message". To those, I ask you the same question. And I pray for your sake that you never have to find out the answer.

  • cycling motorist Jul 13, 3:10 p.m.

    > And, if the passing motorist honks a horn, the bicyclist must give way to the right.

    Up to a point. The pass that is to occur still has to be legal AND safe in the first place.

    There are times where motorists honk for cyclists to yield to pass in lane despite the presence of a separate passing or through lane being available. In some areas, e.g. North-bound Davis Drive North of Morrisville-Carpenter, the outer through lane goes away and there is no safe passing cyclists in that lane because there's a right turn lane that would likely pinch the cyclist between two passing cars, or between a right turn lane and the curb (very unsafe).

    The main reason motorists try to pass cyclists in that lane is so they can do an annoying, if not illegal, pass on the right maneuver against other motorists occupying the inner through lane.

    In either case, a honk to pass needs to be ignored by cyclists who ride at that location and value their safety.

  • joco cruiser Jul 13, 2:56 p.m.

    I think that this is, although very sad and tragic, a good example that even the highly safety concience people can make a split second mistake and that's all there is.

    One thing to keep in mind is there are no seat belts or air bags on a bicycle and the smallest mistake could cost a life.
    Something people don't think about riding in a car.

  • computer trainer Jul 13, 2:47 p.m.

    Let me just say that cyclist who do not stop at stop signs do affect everyone. The other day, I was in the turn lane at St Mary's and Wade. I could see from the other direction a cyclist passing about 15 cars to get to the front. The light was still red. This cyclist was in the STRAIGHT lane. When the turn light went green, I started going, and almost wound up with this cyclist on my hood. As I was turning, they just decided that they should not stop and continue on. It caused me to slam on my brakes, and almost get hit from behind, AND then the straight light change to green. It could have gotten really hairy, but I managed to get around the bike without hitting them.

    Sorry, but I feel that person was disrespectful and were NOT following the rules of the road. A stop sign or a stop light means STOP. It does NOT mean, if you are motorized vehicle STOP, but anyone else can do as they like.

  • Professor Jul 13, 2:25 p.m.

    Cyclist like vehicle drivers have a right to be on the road. We all need to follow the rules and regulation of the highways. It was put there for a reason and purpose.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jul 13, 2:06 p.m.

    A cyclists around a blind curve is easier to avoid than a downed tree. Easier to see, and even slow, its moving away from from the curve adding stopping distance. Maybe these cyclists are making you safer by causing you to consider slowing down for that curve.

    I love how conservatives suddenly become tax and regulate liberals at just the thought of a cyclist in front of them. Besides freedom of thought, freedom of movement is about the most basic right I can think of. I don't commonly bike to work because its just too stressful, but I know that I can. If inflation or taxes make it to expensive to drive, I know I can bike. I think many of you would see the value of cycling if you looked at it from a libertarian perspective.

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