Ahwatukee cyclist killed in collision with parked truck

Avid Ahwatukee cyclist Gerald Hickman was killed when he struck a parked utility truck on Dec 20, 2008 mid-morning. According to reports the truck was parked and its emergency lights were flashing. He was riding with two other cyclists who were uninvolved with the crash. Neither speed nor direction was mentioned but S Fifth Ave is on a fairly significant slope. (Desert Foothills Parkway turns into S Fifth Ave near Chandler Blvd.)

“After riding with friends Saturday morning, the 50-year-old rode his bike into a utility truck parked on South Fifth Avenue near Desert Foothills Parkway. Police aren’t sure why Hickman, who was wearing a helmet, didn’t notice the truck with its emergency lights on. He died at a local hospital. ” — The Arizona Republic.

The frequency of this type of accident is quite low, and a fatality even more unusual. The vast majority of cyclists who are killed in traffic are involved in a collision with a (moving) motor vehicle, not a stationary obstruction.

In the Crash Type Manual for Bicyclists, category “Bicyclist strikes parked vehicle” accounted for only 1.4% of crashes studied, with a lower proportion of serious injuries and  zero fatalities. This category includes so-called “dooring”; which accounted for nearly half of those 1.4% of incidents.

See Cross and Fisher for more discussion of that and the Tan study.


I note that this fatality is not counted by FARS, which counted 19 fatalities for 2008, and has no listing for 12/20/2008. Nor is it reflected in ADOT (since crash facts also counts 19) stats, so perhaps there is some sort of (possibly statistically insignificant) hole here?

[UPDATED; this is by design, FARS only “counts” fatalities that involve at least one “motor vehicle in transport”, in this case the only motor vehicle involved was not in transport, so it is purposefully excluded]


3 thoughts on “Ahwatukee cyclist killed in collision with parked truck”

  1. This blurb showed up in a roundup of traffic fatalities in the city of Scottsdale for the year 2008:

    June 13 — A bicyclist riding near the 6500 block of Crested Saguaro Drive struck a parked landscaping trailer. Inattention of the cyclist was cited as the cause.

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