CHP Investigating If Pickup Truck Driver At Fault For Death of Amy Suyama
WINDSOR, CA (September 12, 2016) – A a 55-year-old Sebastopol resident, was on a bicycle ride west of Windsor in the morning of Saturday, September 10, 2016, when she was tragically killed after apparently colliding with an oncoming, passing vehicle. The crash occurred on Eastside Road near Windsor River Road after 11 a.m.
Suyama had been riding with a friend, heading north on Eastside Road. Meanwhile, a 2004 Chevrolet truck driven by Courtney Rudin of Healdsburg was heading south on the same road.
Rudin, 73, approached a slow-moving truck in his lane and started to pass it, crossing over the broken yellow lines in the center of the road. Suyama was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Her male companion, who was not injured, had been riding in front of her at the time.
The CHP is trying to determine if the truck struck the cyclist. Rudin told investigators he did not feel any impact according to the Press Democrat. The California Vehicle Code requires motorists to maintain a distance of 3 feet when passing cyclists. The law specifically references drivers who overtake and pass bicycles that are “proceeding in the same direction on a highway” without mention of cyclists approaching from the opposite direction.
Officers are also investigating whether Rudin made a legal pass. Under state law, motorists can pass another vehicle so long as the left side “is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic.”