Cyclist Fatality in Lafayette

A cyclist died this week in Lafayette after an early morning accident. There is no word yet on whether the driver was charged with any crime, but the evidence (as listed in the newspaper) is sketchy. The cyclist is blamed for possibly not using lights and for not wearing his helmet, while the driver was said to have frosted windows – I guess he didn’t scrape them very well. Poor visibility, presumably fog, was also cited as a factor.

I’m not the kind of guy who will attempt to decide the case based on poorly written news articles, but I do have one point to make. Not wearing a helmet may have increased his injuries, but it didn’t cause him to be run down by the car.

Here is the text from the two articles.

First on the 20th:

Early morning bicyclist hit, critically injured


A bicyclist suffered a serious head injury Tuesday morning when he was struck by a car in a predawn crash at 18th and South streets.

Stephen K. Jones, 52, of Lafayette was in critical condition at Home Hospital late Tuesday.

Lt. Chris Weaver of the Lafayette Police Department said limited visibility because of darkness and the fact that the car’s windows were still partially frosted are being investigated as likely contributing factors in the 5:45 a.m. crash.

Weaver said Robert M. Lovvorn, 31, of Lafayette, the driver of a Pontiac Grand Prix, was southbound on 18th Street and made a left turn onto South Street, striking the bicyclist, who was headed east on South just east of the intersection.

It appears the bicyclist struck his head on the south curb of South Street, Weaver said.

There was no major damage to the car or the bike, which was equipped with a light. Police aren’t sure whether the bike’s light was turned on.

Medics who responded found a bicycle helmet hanging from the bike’s handle bars. Police suspect the rider was not wearing the helmet at the time of the crash.

“No skid marks; no tire marks,” Weaver said. “It was probably a low-speed crash, but when you’re on a bike it doesn’t take much speed.”

Lovvorn submitted to all required tests, and police determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

South Street was closed between 19th and Main streets until about 8:30 a.m. while traffic investigators took measurements.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is encouraged to call Officer Tim Bonner of LPD’s traffic division at 807-1292.

Next on the 21st:

Bicyclist dies after car crash


A bicyclist from Lafayette died Wednesday morning after he was seriously injured when struck by a car at 18th and South streets.

Stephen K. Jones, 52, suffered massive head injuries in the predawn crash Tuesday after falling and hitting his head on a curb, according to Officer Tim Bonner of the Lafayette Police Department.

He was pronounced dead at Home Hospital.

Tippecanoe County coroner Donna Avolt said Wednesday that Jones died of multiple traumatic injuries. An autopsy will not be done.

Police said limited visibility at the time of the 5:45 a.m. crash Tuesday and the fact that the car’s windows were still partially frosted were investigated as likely contributing factors.

Jones was hit by a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Robert M. Lovvorn, 31, of Lafayette as Jones was headed east on South Street, just east of the intersection with 18th Street.

Lovvorn, who was not injured, was turning left on South from 18th.

Medics at the scene found a bicycle helmet hanging from the bike’s handles bars, and police suspect Jones was not wearing it at the time of the crash.

Police found no major damage to the car or the bike. The fact that neither skid marks nor tire marks were found at the scene indicate that it was a low-speed crash.

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