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SUV Strikes, Kills Bike Rider on Sunrise Valley Drive

by Karen Goff — September 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm 3,258 54 Comments

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police said a cyclist was killed on Monday after he was struck by the driver of a Chevy Suburban on Sunrise Valley Drive in unincorporated Herndon.

Police said the victim, a 38-year-old man, was one of two riders in the northbound right-hand lane on Sunrise Valley near Coppermine Road about 8 p.m.

Neither rider was wearing reflective clothing, nor did they have any lights on their bicycles, said police.

A 2014 Chevrolet Suburban (SUV), driven by a 29-year-old Fairfax man, also traveling north on Sunrise Valley Drive, approached the bicycles from behind and struck one of the riders.

The rider, whose name has not been released by police because next of kin has not been notified, was taken to Reston Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead later on Monday.

The driver of the SUV remained on the scene. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this crash, police said.

Police are still investigating the crash. Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at703-691-2131 .

  • Straight outta Hunter Woodz

    was the bike stolen? Maybe reston is free of the dreaded bike klepto and we call all feel safe leaving out bikes outside the library and schools again.

    • troll troller

      The above comment is cretinous.

    • suspicious_package

      Even if it was stolen (which is a pretty stupid thing to ask frankly), the driver still isn’t allowed to run them down from behind and kill them.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Rest in peace, unnamed bike rider.

    Drive gently out there people. It’s still nice weather, and there are plenty of folks on the roads who aren’t wrapped in a 1-ton steel cocoon.

    • Mike M

      Just under three tons in this case.

  • Mike M

    I sent my heartfelt condolences to the family. But I have seen bikers become increasingly reckless in the past two years. The truth is they do not belong on the roads where so many cars are traveling so fast. It’s just not safe. Period. Combine that with the increased comfoprt with bikers in the roads and this is bound to continue.

    • Next Offkin

      You cannot send anything because next of kin has not been notified. You know what, you win the daily d_bag award. Congrats

      • Mike M

        So, you award these, eh? Figures.

    • suspicious_package

      If the roads aren’t safe because of fast cars, then maybe it’s cars that don’t belong the road. If the streets aren’t safe because of dangerous muggers we don’t decide that innocent people should stay home.

      • Mike M

        Perfect! You reveal the harsh selfishness of the self-righteous biker. The roads in Fairfax County were desinged and built for cars, SP. If speed was a factor in this incident, the police didn’t mention it. In my opinion, bikes don’t belong where traffic is legally whizzing by at 35 mph or greater. It’s not safe. And yeah, I know your ilk is woprking hard to make the roads ever more expensive and crowded so that your hobby can benefit. Way to go.

        • suspicious_package

          It wasn’t my idea to kick one group of users off the road. That was yours. I think we should try to share the roads. But if that can’t be done safely, then why should those who do the killing get to stay?

          • Mike M

            Because, although no one wants to strike a biker, it is bound to happen given that the roads were made for cars and are quite crowded. Even a biker’s lights at rush hour get washed out by oncoming traffic. What I am saying is there are times and place – many – where biking on our local roads is inherently lethal.

          • suspicious_package

            That’s BS. No where is it “inherently lethal”. We average about 1 bike fatality every 3 years in Fairfax County, and none at the same place. No one wants to strike another car, but it’s bound to happen and when it does, both drivers lose. Perhaps we should ban driving.

        • suspicious_package

          And, it’s no more a hobby than driving is for your ilk. It’s how I get to work and back. [That roads were designed and built for cars, instead of people, is part of the problem]

          • Mike M

            Indeed! The roads were! That’s the heart of the matter! This our reality! Welcome aboard!

          • suspicious_package

            But what conclusion do you draw from such a statement? Is it that “Therefore bikes should be banned from the road” or “We should stop doing that, and we should redesign roads to accommodate cyclists.”? Using a mistake to justify bad policy seems like a path to follow.

    • Shmoo

      This will shock all of you, but I’ve seen drivers not come to a complete stop at stop signs or intersections. The truth is they do not belong on the roads where cyclists are traveling within the posted speed limit. It’s just not safe. Period.

      • Mike M

        Everyone makes mistakes. Some people even break the rules. But when a bike and car collide, . . . Who loses badly?

        Again, biker boy, I am talking simple reality. You are talking Utopia. Sound familiar. Like right versus left.

        • Shmoo

          I don’t own a bike. Right versus left? Ah, like the only direction most drivers look while illegally rolling through an intersection and violating right of way for sidewalk traffic?
          You know I was hit and run by a driver this way once. I “lost” by being smaller than a vehicle. Size isn’t the issue, it’s humanity. You clearly lack this, so there you go.

          • Mike M

            It would be more humane to avoid these accidents which never go well for the biker.

    • NoVaCyclist

      “W&OD crossings where bikers increasingly run the stop signs.” AGREED!

      As an avid cyclist, I see this way too often, especially on the W&OD trail. Folks, is it worth your life to beat your best time???

  • Mike M

    There is the law. Then there are the laws of physics. If you can’t see them, it’s not that you are allowed to kill them, it’s just that any given driver (not some stalking predator) very well might. Get it?

    Your attitude is telling. I hope you are not the topic of the next such story.

    • suspicious_package

      They might – if they’re failing to keep careful lookout. So the driver is at fault.

      • Mike M

        But there is no mention of this in the story. Again, drivers will make mistakes. But when a biker or a driver collide for WHATEVER reason, the biker loses badly. This basic reality should inform the laws and behaviors around bikes on the road.

        Would you feel any better if this young man were killed because the driver made a mistake? I strongly suspect some of you would. And that makes no sense.

        Sorry, but you bikers aren’t making any more sense in your arguments here than the clowns I saw riding tandem on the Fairfax County parkway, or the speedbiker inching up Hunter Mill Road a few days back. Bikes and cars don’t mix well.

        • suspicious_package

          If a driver hits someone from behind, the presumption – under the law – is that it was caused by driver error. The driver then has the burden to prove that it was not.

          It’s true that cyclists lose badly when they collide with a car. What’s your point? How would that inform the laws and behaviors?

          Bikes and cars mix just fine – when the roads are properly designed and speed limits are set at reasonable levels.

          • Mike M

            The roads were not designed for bikes. So bikers and the law should stop pretending they were.
            I believe in this case, the biker is blamed due to unsafe practices for the conditions.

          • suspicious_package

            No one has blamed anyone yet – other than you.

  • Please tell me you are joking. Lack of safety gear is not the same thing as a skimpy dress.

    Reston has few streetlights and no bike lanes. Perhaps the article is noting it as a cautionary warning to WEAR YOUR GEAR. I can’t tell you how many times a cyclist has nearly splatted the front of my car when running stop signs and street lights in front of me.

  • Henry Rearden

    If a car was involved in an accident and it was determined their headlights were not being used, it would be in the story.

    • saferider

      Not a chance that is true, but I do agree it is not analogous to the skimpy dress.

    • suspicious_package

      Well yeah, but unlike reflective clothing, headlights are required by law.

  • HiVis and lights ALWAYS

    The quote about the bikers not wearing reflective clothing and not having lights is very important. Twilight is the most dangerous time, and not having Hi-Vis is reckless. Hopefully from this tragedy other bicyclists get wise and get seen!

    • suspicious_package

      But, lights and reflective clothing aren’t required by law. I find it hard to believe that there was nothing on them that reflected light.

      • Dodge

        Actually having one light after dusk is in the VA state law, last I checked.

        • suspicious_package

          Right I’ve since been reminded. They should have had a taillight starting at 7:48 PM and the crash occurred just after 8pm

  • CE

    Completely ridiculous comparison. Would you care to defend your broken logic?

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Unless you get seriously turned on by reflective stripes to the point that you can’t help yourself, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

  • saferider

    I agree it is not wise to ride those roads without a rear light at that hour, but it is still legal. Why is all of the attention on what the cyclist did wrong, which was actually nothing?
    Why did the SUV guy hit him? You can see fine at 8:00 pm unless you are texting or otherwise messing with your phone or distracted. That’s what they should be looking at rather than pontificating about reflective clothing. Unfortunately there is an unspoken attitude among both the police and public that cyclists who do “stupid” stuff – in their subjective opinion – either deserve or should expect such outcomes. Most of the comments here do nothing to dissuade me from that belief.

    • Mike M

      I hope you are not the next. You are clearly part of the problem.

      • saferider

        Well thank you for the gratuitous hypocrisy. Please tell me how I’m part of the problem. I am an exceptionally safe, law abiding rider and endure countless rude, aggressive and stupid motorists. The problem is not recognizing that we have the same right to be out there. We also have a responsibility to be safe and smart. You see no validity in wondering why the motorist ran him over with a clear line of sight?

        • Mike M

          I see no validity in “clear lines of site” at dusk or later when the biker was not being safe. Because you do, and because you seem to assume the driver was at fault, and because you put your “rights” above physics, you are clearly part of the problem. Many things are legal but stupid. Biking in fast, busy traffic is one of those things. Biking at dusk or later without illumination is even dumber. Did you notice how this one turned out? Or will it take a few more for you?

          • saferider

            I am not assuming anything, unlike you or the article’s implications. I am asking the question. Do we know if the driver was texting, swerving, speeding, changing lanes or anything else? The police had him there, why isn’t that reported? Oh, I know it’s all the cyclists fault because he didn’t have a light. That narrowness of interpretation actually says a lot. Believe it or not, it is actually possible for someone else to be at fault- fully or partially. I am not disputing physics and well understand the proposition of being dead right. Neither am I exonerating the lack of smart behavior of the cyclists, or putting my rights above physics (which actually makes no sense- they are two separate discussions). The fact that you see only one side in this and seem to be of the mind that they got what they deserve is the problem- not people like me who really just want a fair shake from aggressive motorists. So smugly go on knowing you won’t get run over since you are the guy implementing physics, but just remember- if you run over someone who had it coming, your life will be shit too.

          • Mike M

            To your last point, indeed! All the more reason for bikers to get their act together instead of pushing their luck.

          • saferider

            Not sure what that means, but we do have common ground. The last thing I try to do is push my luck. On the contrary, I try to take luck out of the equation. I agree cyclists need to be smart, and there are indeed dumb ones. But at the same time, motorists just need to take a breath now and then and give us a break as well as try to keep in mind we may be out there, even when you don’t expect it. The penalty for a bad decision shouldn’t be death.

          • Laws

            Fairfax law requires a tail light at dawn if the posted speed is 35 mph or higher. Why don’t you know the law?

  • Withheld

    Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this crash.

    So, just asking the obvious, do police check the smart phone records when accidents occur?

    Just wondering. Because driving around these days it seems like half the people in motion are using their devices. Eg. I can take a run at a red light from a turning lane because I know that a sleeper cell will give me their spot when the light turns green. There are other tricks that are better not shared.

    Fact is, and this case prolly too, dude was distracted by his digital mate. And nobody is calling it out cuz they do it too!!!

    • John

      Bullshit I was there yesterday it’s totally bikers fault he was driving on main road were there’s no street lights

      • saferider

        Tell us more. Driving on the “main road” as you say isn’t illegal or even necessarily dangerous.

      • Shmoo

        Sounds like the fault of inappropriate lighting on a road.

  • sharing space

    What a loving community, RIP

  • saferider

    Mike, your basic argument seems to be that since bikes and cars don’t do well on the road together, the bikes should get off for their own preservation. I will grant you there is some undeniable truth in your assessment, but not in your solution. Cars and bikes can co-exist with an acceptable level of safety. It’s a fact in Europe, and in many places in this country. Where you have drawn the ire of cyclists and others here is your seeming refusal to consider fault or driver responsibility in the solution; falling back on the “physics” of it to make your point, and by calling people “part of the problem” who don’t acquiesce to your solution. Both drivers and cyclists need to be held to account for their actions if we are to make any progress. The cyclists are not going to go away, so some attitude change on everyone’s part would be useful.

  • Transhuman

    Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised. Rest in power.

  • JJ

    He was actually a lifeguard who just finished his duty that day and was just on his way home.

    For those who care below is the fundme page to support his family.

    http://www.gofundme.com/t539ghjk

  • Tara

    So sorry for the family of both the biker and the driver!
    I live on Sun Rise Valley and I can tell you that at any given time after the sun goes down there are walkers and runners and bike riders that randomly cross the road and aren’t wearing reflective clothing and the street lights aren’t bright enough/strong enough to see them until you’re almost right up on them. Let’s use this as an opportunity to lobby for more street lights rather than an opportunity to bash each other!

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