A Chico State student was struck while bicycling Monday by a campus police cruiser. The bike accident occurred at an intersection on campus at roughly 10:15 p.m. A University Police cruiser had stopped at a stop sign and began to roll forward just before the accident happened. A University Police spokesman says the unidentified bicyclist saw the cruiser begin to move forward and tried to swerve to avoid the accident.
The bicyclist was not entirely successful in evading the moving vehicle. University Police say the campus police officer did not see the bicyclist coming and as the car moved into the intersection, the left side push bumper on the cruiser clipped the bike rider.
Authorities say as many as six police cruisers, one fire truck and an ambulance arrived at the scene of the bike accident within roughly 7 minutes after the crash occurred. The bicyclist suffered personal injuries in the crash. The biker reportedly experienced pain in his right hip, but was able to limp from the scene.
Police say a friend of the bicycle accident victim to the injured biker to a nearby medical facility to be checked out.
Campus Police turned the investigation over to other authorities due to the potential conflict of interest that could arise in investigating an accident involving a University Police cruiser. California Highway Patrol officer George Carpenter says the bicyclist did not have proper lighting or reflectors on the bicycle. Law enforcement has not come to their conclusion regarding he may have been at fault in the bicycle and car accident.
Source: The Orion, “Officer sideswipes student cyclist,” Kenny Lindberg, Oct. 4, 2011