Bethel police are investigating a tragic accident involving a bicycle and two vehicles Sunday that resulted in the death of the cyclist.
According to police, 59-year-old Weston resident Thomas Steinert-Threlkeld was biking westbound on Dodgingtown Road (Route 302) Sunday afternoon when, around 2:45 p.m., an eastbound vehicle turning through the intersection with Old Hawleyville road caused him to lose his balance.
Police are unsure of whether Steinert-Threlkeld’s bike made contact with the vehicle or whether he merely had to take evasive action, causing him to fall.
Steinert-Threlkeld fell in the path of another vehicle turning onto Dodgingtown Road from Old Hawleyville and was struck and trapped beneath.
The driver of the second vehicle stopped immediately and Bethel firefighters responding to the scene were able to extricate Steinert-Threlkeld and EMTs rushed him to Danbury Hospital.
Steinert-Threlkeld later succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the incident and passed away at Danbury Hospital.
The initial vehicle turning north onto Old Hawleyville Road left the scene and police are looking for information about the car or its driver.
Witnesses at the scene described it at a medium to dark silver or gray sedan. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Steve Pugner or Cpl. James Christos at 203-744-7900.
Cyclists face dangers every time they take to the road, Bethel Bicycle Club member Chris Friden said Wednesday.
“If you’ve never ridden, you have no idea how scary it is to have a car brush by and how often the shoulders on our roads are filled with sand, holes and other hazards requiring bikers to move a few feet into the road,” he said. “Not because we are oblivious or inconsiderate but because it is safer and we’re trying not to crash.”
Friden said the news of Steinert-Threlkeld’s death has hit the local cycling community and incidents like this continue to fuel “antagonism between cars and bikers.”