Killed in bike lane by distracted driver

Stock photo of distracted driver in Chandler who caused death (photo: Sky12)

5/9/2020 victim Ed Rockland

According to a public post on Ed Rockland’s facebook , Ed’s wife Carole made this announcement “This morning Ed and I were riding our bikes safely in a bike lane when he was struck from behind by a driver checking his cellphone”.

I’m guessing from the post that there were no other serious injuries.

I have seen elsewhere / unconfirmed that it was in Chandler but not other location information. Chandler PD said it occurred on Hunt Highway eastbound near Val Vista (driver had just entered Hunt from Pearl). The road in this location is one lane in each direction plus a wide bike lane, and a center turn lane.

This wouldn’t be the first, or the second, or even the third fatality in recent history where a distracted driver “drifted” and killed a bicyclist in a bike lane in the City of Chandler. I don’t know if Chandler Police are handling these cases properly — where a driver drifts out-of-lane and causes death or serious injury, they are liable for (at least) a 28-672 charge. At least meaning if no other more serious charges will be brought. [addendum: CPD later said “a criminal charge is pending”; I’d still like to know the outcomes of the drivers that killed Debbie Thornberry and Donald Neu nearby in separate, and very similar, incidents in 2016 ]

As I said above, I don’t know where this happened; the Rockland’s live in Sun Lakes so it’s quite likely that all three of these very similar fatal incidents happened all in that same area, i would call it southwest Chandler. Something rotten in Chandler? This type of crash — daylight, stuck from behind in a bike lane — is relatively otherwise rare.

This was posted on Chandler PD’s facebook on 5/12 :

On Saturday, May 9, 2020 around 9:00AM a 77-year-old male bicyclist was struck by a vehicle on Hunt Highway near the Val Vista Road intersection. The bicyclist, a Sun Lakes resident, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Investigators learned the bicyclist was traveling eastbound in the bike lane of Hunt Highway when he was struck by the vehicle, a 2011 Kia Sport Utility Vehicle. The Kia, operated by a 38-year-old male, had entered onto Hunt Highway from Pearl Drive just prior to the collision.

While no impairment was noted, detectives have reason to believe the vehicle operator was distracted at the time of the collision. As a result, a criminal charge is pending. The investigation is ongoing.



4 thoughts on “Killed in bike lane by distracted driver”

  1. What’s a 28-672 charge? Here is Fla., no criminal charges for a traffic infraction unless driver was impaired, reckless driving w/ excessive speed, or leaves the scene.

  2. I’ve heard that it was on westbound Hunt Highway near Lindsay. Such a senseless and tragic loss for Ed’s family and many friends. Ed will be greatly missed. A retired educator, Ed volunteered at a local Chandler school, Frye Elementary, and at New Adventures in Learning, a volunteer organization specializing in adult education.

    [google map of Hunt Highway / Lindsay ; not specific location]

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