CHP Continuing Investigation into Highway 101 Crash
An accident involving a vehicle striking a cyclist left one dead Sunday afternoon, February 24, on U.S. Highway 101 just north of Big Lagoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.
According to CHP, the driver veered onto the southbound
shoulder of Highway 101 and struck the cyclist.
CHP officers received the call at about 12:58 p.m. and arrived on scene to find a Humboldt County Parks Nissan Titan pickup truck involved in the collision.
CPR was being performed on the cyclist without success. The officers reported the incident as a possible fatality at 1:04 p.m; it was classified as a fatality 15 minutes later.
After notification of the next of kin, the deceased cyclist was identified as John Mello, 57, of McKinleyville.
The driver was identified as Brian Bresee, 26, of Eureka.
The California Highway Patrol recently released the following statement regarding the accident:
On 02/24/2013, at approximately 12:55 p.m., John Mello, age 57 of McKinleyville, was riding his bicycle on the right shoulder of southbound US-101, north of Patrick’s Point Drive.
Brian Bresee, age 26 of Eureka, a Humboldt County Parks employee, was driving a Nissan Titan at this location, within the #2 lane.
Mr. Bresee appeared to allow the Nissan to move toward the right shoulder of the road. The right side of the Nissan struck Mr. Mello.
Mr. Mello sustained fatal injuries due to the collision. Mr. Bresee was uninjured. The Nissan pickup involved in the collision is a Humboldt County Parks vehicle.
Impairment does not appear to be a factor in this collision, which is still under investigation.
CHP officials noted the truck was being towed for evidence and the investigation into the accident is ongoing.
The area of Highway 101 where the fatality occurred has a very narrow shoulder margin for bicyclists to ride upon safely with a moderately steep dropoff curb.
Here are few of the different Facebook comments coming in:
“John and Joe are both my uncles…. and I would really like to know how this happened. I understand road conditions… sun to shade… but it seems like a pretty open piece of road with not a lot of shade, pretty straight and open. My Uncle was an avid bicycle rider and was very careful. Accidents happen all the time but some can be avoided with common sense. “
‘There are bike riders out there! Motorcycle riders! And even people walking on the side if the road– so please don’t use your phone, text, work the stereo, or anything for that matter because we riders and walkers don’t have a cage with airbags. Please think of us.”
“John… will be missed by everyone who knew him. Sorry to my cousins, his children…what a tragic loss this is for his whole family. I’m sure that the man who hit him will forever live with this and it is sad for all concerned”
“Wow, how tragic. It doesn’t matter how wide he shoulder is, John had a right to ride there. Now John’s life is gone & Brian will likely lose his job & spend years in jail for manslaughter.”
“I’ve ridden with John before. Very experienced rider, safe. He could have made a mistake, but I’d be surprised if he did. Always kept his equipment in great shape. Was a great guy, I’ll keep the memories.”
“There is no bike path, there is only about two inches between the fog line and the dirt! If there were a bike path, that would be another story.”
“Doesn’t look safe to ride there…”
“I worked with John and he loved to ride his bike. It was his passion. He was experienced and knew exactly what he was doing where he was riding. I’m not blaming anyone; I’m just saying a good person is not with us anymore and I won’t see him at work tomorrow.”
“Very sad …bicyclist always worry me on our roads.”
“There are many things that can cause you to take your eyes off the road at any given time. I guarantee his biggest critic will be himself, especially when he is about to become a father and is a responsible young man. If he did something stupid then he should face the consequences, but don’t accuse him without any knowledge of what actually happened.”
“Two families are affected by this tragedy. Mr Mello’s loved ones are hurting and mourning their loss. Brian’s family and friends are mourning with you.”
“So sad for both families. Maybe we can all make more of a point to be extra attentive on the roads!”
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(Posted by Skippy Massey)