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Police warn of rules of the road after fatal bike crash

The Purdue University community is still mourning the loss of one of its own, after a student died earlier this week in a bicycle crash. Now, West Lafayette police are cautioning bicyclists and motorists to keep an eye out for each other.

Posted: May 4, 2018 10:41 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 11:49 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Purdue University community is still mourning the loss of one of its own, after a student died earlier this week in a bicycle crash. Now, West Lafayette police are cautioning bicyclists and motorists to keep an eye out for each other.

"Unfortunately, we do see our share of accidents where cyclists and motorists are meeting," said Patrol Lt. Art Choates.


Choates said crashes like these are becoming way too common. Just this Tuesday, Lucas Shanker, 19, was riding his bike and failed to stop at the intersection of Lindberg Road and 400 West.

Police said he flipped over the handle bars as he was braking and flew into the path of a truck.

"Obviously, the car is going to win that every time," said Choates. "Sometimes when we get inside our vehicles, I think we tend to forget that there's bicyclists out there."

Choates said the tragic incident is a powerful reminder of the responsibility of both the driver and the bicyclist to look out for each other.

"The state of Indiana allows bicyclists to share the road with motorists. So, that's a great reminder for motorists that they need to know bicyclists are allowed to share the road," said Choates.

Police said drivers need to keep safe distances in between in cyclists and to slow down when passing by.

"We also have an ordinance here in West Lafayette that requires motorists to allow three feet between them alongside the road," said Choates.

He said bicyclists also need to obey the same rules as cars.

"Now, there is signage for the bicyclists specifically. That becomes very important for bicyclists to pay attention to that signage," said Choates.

Another important reminder for both, is to never drive or bike while distracted.

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