A car-bicycle accident, which killed a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy over the weekend, happened on a road popular among bicyclists, a local bicycle enthusiast said.
Lt. David Dillon, 44, died after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bike in the 1900 section of North 1400 Road, just one mile west of Eudora. Dillon was struck from behind by a 2003 Oldsmobile driven by Kyle Van Meter, a 20-year-old Eudora man, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. The accident happened just before 8 a.m. Saturday.
Dan Hughes, Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop owner, said many cyclists frequently travel the rural county road between Lawrence and Eudora.
"It's a straight stretch of road, there's no hills on it, there's no curves," said Hughes, who also uses the road often. "It would seem to me to be a pretty safe road to ride on."
KHP investigators aren't aware of any obstructions that caused the accident, said Trooper Edna Buttler. She said troopers don't believe excessive speed, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
Officers are awaiting toxicology reports and phone records before completing their investigation, and more information about the circumstances of the accident could be available next week, Buttler said.
The fatal accident has hit the local bicycle community hard, said Hughes and Paul Corcoran, Lawrence Bicycle Club secretary.
"We feel like it was another one of us that was taken down," Corcoran said.
"It's just a sobering reminder that cars are heavy and big, and generally when a car and a bicyclist interact, the cyclist is going to be the loser, no matter what the situation is," Hughes said.
While bicycle enthusiasts have a hard time understanding how an accident could happen where it did, they said it has given area bicyclists another reason to be careful on the road. They're also hopeful motorists will do the same.
Funeral services for Dillon, a 25-year veteran of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. Dillon was jail operations deputy for the Sheriff's Office.