Bicyclist fatally struck by Ford Explorer in Farmington Hills

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published September 18, 2020

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A Thursday evening bike-car crash has resulted in a man’s death. 

Farmington Hills police are investigating the Sept. 17 crash that happened at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Middlebelt Road, near Liberty Street, between Grand River Avenue and Shiawassee Street. 

A Farmington Hills alert was sent out at approximately 10 p.m. Sept. 17 to notify residents the roadway was closed. The roadway did not reopen until 3 a.m. the following morning. 

According to a news release, investigators have determined that a Ford Explorer struck a 37-year-old Livonia man while he was riding his bicycle in the roadway. 

Both were traveling southbound on Middlebelt Road, south of Liberty Street. Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King said the bicyclist, while not wearing black, was not wearing any bright colored or reflective clothing. The bicycle did have reflectors attached, however. 

The driver stopped upon hitting the victim and attempted to provide him aid, but the bicyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

“We’ve continued working in connection with the family to bring as much resolution to the situation as possible. It was a tragic situation, very unfortunate,” King said. “It’s a reminder that when pedestrians or bicyclists are in the roadway to wear light clothing, to utilize sidewalks if they’re available, and to take any precaution they can to ensure their safety.” 

The driver is cooperating with the investigation, King said, and it does not appear at this time that alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants were a factor in the incident, though King said speed may have been a factor. 

“Any kind of contact with a motor vehicle at those speeds presents a significant danger to both pedestrians and bicyclists,” he said. 

The department is working with the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office to present the incident for any charges. “The investigation was relatively straightforward,” King said. 

King reiterated how important pedestrian and bicycle safety can be even when you’re doing everything right. 

“The clear safety advantage of using a sidewalk or crosswalk over riding outside of those lines, or even when you’re operating a bicycle on the roadway legally, accidents can happen and result in a crash where there’s a serious injury,” he said. “It wouldn’t necessarily rise to a criminal action — it may, but that injury or loss of life is still there, and that’s the unfortunately tragic side of these things.” 

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