Bicyclist killed Monday makes three in area this year - WNEM TV 5

Bicyclist killed Monday makes three in area this year

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OTTAWA COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

An accident Monday night in Ottawa County claimed the life of a bicyclist, and is the third accident of its kind in the area this year.

Authorities and local bike enthusiasts say it's time for everyone on the road to take notice.

"I've been in a fair amount of accidents myself as a teenager, and I can honestly say, about 90 percent of them, I was at fault," said Erik Thomas, of Toledo Bikes!

Thomas has spent most of his life on two wheels, saying he didn't get his driver's license until he was 30 years old. At Toledo Bikes! on Washington Street, he teaches other how to fix their bikes safely, and ride them safely.

Authorities say 21-year-old Emily Gagon was biking from Massachusetts to California to raise money for multiple sclerosis. She was hit Monday night along State Route 163 as she rode into the city from Ottawa County.

"Unfortunately, the circumstances yesterday, with the sun being right in the drivers' eyes, made it very difficult," said Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick.

Levorchick says the roads themselves also add to the danger for bikers.

"So many places, there aren't bike paths available," he said. "And so many times, people riding bicycles have to ride on the roadway for their exercise or for their enjoyment."

This is the third accident involving a biker in Ottawa County this year. The sheriff says avoiding them comes down to knowing the rules of the road.

"Bicyclists need to ride as close to the white line as possible, as close to the right edge of the roadway as possible," he said. "Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of cars that are coming up behind you."

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