Cyclists Talk Safety Tips After Accident

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Sixty-three year-old, Clay Clark of Wichita Falls, is recovering from serious injuries after being hit by a pick up while riding his bicycle along the I-44 service road near Bacon Switch Road. 

A scary situation that is all too familiar for another dedicated Wichita Falls cyclist, Les Akins. 

“And I was shocked to tell you the truth that it would happen again in almost the same location from what I’m told,” Akins said. 

Akins was hit by a car while cycling along the same access road back in February of 2015. 

“Honestly, it is hard not to remember what I went through and what I went through with my family and it’s hard not to feel a lot of empathy for the survivors and the families that are supporting the person that’s been hit,” Akins said.

Wichita Falls Traffic Superintendent, Mark Beauchamp, said there are steps you can take to try to stay safe on two wheels.

He said make yourself visible with bright colors and a back flashing red light and always follow traffic rules.
 
Beauchamp and Akins agreed — there is a reason these accidents are on the rise — distracted driving. 
 
“So please give cyclists plenty of room and pay attention. Put the cell phones down. Put the burger up. Wait till you get home to eat the burger. Whatever the case may be. It’s not only for the cyclist’s safety — it’s for the safety of everybody,” Beauchamp said. 
 
Especially since you will soon start to see more and more cyclists out on the roads — as they gear up for Hotter’N Hell in August. 
 
“And I think that’s the solution to focus on the fact that you’ve got a three to four thousand pound vehicle driving down the highway …. 50 to 75 miles per hour and it takes a moments inattention to run someone over,” Akins said. 
 
So if you prefer horsepower over manpower– always remember you are sharing the roads.
 
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating and no charges have been filed against the driver at this time. 
 
If you want to get out and train with other riders, cyclists meet in the parking lot of the MPEC every Thursday evening for Thermal Thursdays. 
 

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