Tucson bicyclist dies after falling

According to a TPD press release, e-bicyclist 49-year-old Joseph Brzuchalski died after wobbling, falling, and hitting his head. The incident occurred 9/21/2015 ~ 1730, and police believe alcohol was invovled. The press release goes to great lengths to say this incident did not involve train tracks.

In any event, I’m labeling this as non-traffic because

  • an electric bike is a motorized bicycle and, as such, does not “count” as a bicyclist fatality — its operator is a “DRIVER” and not a “PEDALCYCLIST”. And/or:
  • Traffic crashes that do not involve any motor vehicles do not “count” as traffic crashes

In other words, I’m not expecting this to show up on state or federal traffic crash stats.

By the way, the numbers in the footer of the press release are startling; 2015 YTD traffic fatalies of 42 compared with 23 last year (i assume they mean comparing the same time period, otherwise it would be even more startling). This is an, ahem, enourmous increase.

Crash Report

The incident does appear in ADOT crash records: incident=3026378

As expected the bodystyle is listed as moped ( MOTORCYCLE_MP_MOPED). And no other units were involved; as such it was coded as any other single-(motor)vehicle crash. The BAC result is listed as 0.251


Contact: Pete Dugan Date: 09/24/2015
Sergeant / Public Information Office TDD: 791-2639 520-791-4852
On-call PIO: tucsonpdpio@gmail.com
On September 21, 2015 at approximately 5:30 p.m., officers from Operations Division Downtown responded to the area of South 4th Avenue and East 9th Street for a report of an injured male cyclist in the roadway. Upon arrival, officers had limited information, but learned the cyclist had fallen off of an electric powered bicycle. Tucson Fire responded to the scene and immediately transported the cyclist to Banner University Medical Center with life threatening injuries.
During the investigation it was revealed that the collision was captured on video by a Sunlink rail vehicle. The Sunlink vehicle was traveling southbound on 4th Avenue about a half a block away from the cyclist. The video showed the cyclist was originally eastbound on 8th Street and then turned southbound on to 4th Avenue. He was traveling along the western curb area with no vehicles in the roadway and did not enter into the rail tracks. The cyclist was seen adjusting his backpack, which appeared to cause him to lose his balance. The cyclist then fell to the ground where he struck his head.
He was not wearing a helmet.
On September 23, 2015 the cyclist succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at Banner University Medical Center. He has been identified as 49-year-old Joseph Brzuchalski. Alcohol appears to have been a factor in the collision.
Fatalities Year-To-Date:

  • For 2014 – 23 (Ped 6, bicycle 2, motorcycle 1)
  • For 2015  – 42 (Ped 10, bicycle 4, motorcycle 5)


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