SD Bike Coalition board member killed in Oregon

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Kerry Kunsman

SAN DIEGO — A bicycle safety instructor and board member of the San Diego Bicycle coalition died Monday, three days after he was hit by a pickup while bicycling through Oregon.

Kerry Kunsman, 67, was cycling westbound Friday at about 5:15 p.m. on Highway 131 between Tillamook and Netarts Bay when a Ford F350 pickup hit him on the two-lane road, according to the Oregon State Police.

He was transported by ambulance to the Tillamook Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. He died Monday morning from his injuries.

Kunsman was attempting to cycle from the Mexican border to the Canadian border when he hit, his nephew, Paul Green, said.

“The Bike Coalition expresses our deepest sympathies to his family and immense gratitude for his years of service to the bicycling community and the San Diego Bike Coalition. A friend and teacher to many, his absence will be widely felt,” SD Bike Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “He will long be remembered for the tremendous care he invested in each of his students and his memorable laugh. What he brought to the bicycling world is much greater than the Bike Coalition and his larger-than-life legacy will live on.”

11 comments

  • Carrie

    know exactly where this tragedy happened & it is a narrow rural road. At least he died doing what he loved, if that is any consolation to his family.

  • wes

    I think it is crazy to put cars and bicycle’s on the same road. Also, bicyclest seem to think the rules of the road don’t apply to them. We spend so much $$$ on TSA to save a plane or two a year, but why not build bike paths only for bicyclest and except a loss in the air.

    • billdsd

      Kunsman was a long time bicycle safety instructor for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. He taught the League of American Bicyclist’s curriculum. I’m quite certain that he was obeying the law. That’s was his M.O.

      He was hit from behind on a curve that had a posted advisory speed of 25mph. It’s likely that the driver was going a lot faster than that.

      Motorists need to obey the rules too but I see constant speeding, tailgating, failing to signal, failing to yield to pedestrians, rolling stop signs, rolling right on red, running red lights and numerous other violations by motorists all the time. Complaining about bicyclists is nothing but a red herring to push your prejudice and hatred.

  • wes

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic injuries on the nation’s roadways claimed the lives of 33,561 people.

    • billdsd

      Nope. In 2012 the NHTSA does say 33561 total, but 726 were pedalcyclists. That’s about 2.16%. 2012 was a bad year for cyclists. That’s the highest percentage in a while.

  • oldairhead

    Wes, virtually all of the fatalities you refer to are caused by cars and their drivers, car drivers killing pedestrians, car drivers killing bicyclists, car drivers killing other drivers. Your quip about bicyclists thinking the rules don’t apply to them does not apply here. Kerry was doing nothing wrong, he was run over from behind by a truck. How is that his fault? Stop trying to blame the victim here, he was obeying the law, the truck driver did not!

    • billdsd

      Not really true. While it’s likely a majority were caused by motorists, in most studies, the split is fairly close to 50-50 with motorists usually being at fault a little more often, but not dramatically more often.

  • z p callahan

    First…..Kerry was a dear friend of mine. This was a terrible ACCIDENT. Kerry was doing nothing wrong. The driver of the truck was doing nothing wrong. The road design and the time of day (Dusk, sun in eyes) were the major factors in this. Kerry’s family is devestated, but do not blame the driver. Together, Kerry’s family and the driver are trying to get this stretch of road made safer for all. RIP Kerry…..I love you.

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