Athlete Safety Questioned after Participants Death

Reposted from Longmont Times Call
By Mitchell Byars, Staff Writer

In the wake of an Ironman Boulder competitor being struck and killed on U.S. 36 during Sunday's race, the triathlete's family and local cyclists have called into question the safety of having the cycling leg alongside traffic on that stretch of highway.

Michelle Walters, 34, of McCook, Neb., died after being hit at the 31.9 milemarker of U.S. 36 at 9:47 a.m. Sunday just north of Boulder. According to Colorado State Patrol, Walters was headed in the same direction as a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck but for some reason left the designated race lane.

She collided with the right side of the truck, causing her to fall off the bike and be run over by the truck. She was transported to a hospital but was pronounced dead.

The driver of the truck, identified as Timothy Lacey, 55, of Boulder, has not been ticketed, and alcohol and speed are not believed to be factors in the crash.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid said the crash is still under investigation, and at this point it is not known why Walters went into the travel lane.

"We're not exactly sure why this female got out of her race lane," Reid said. "This rider was in a designated lane that was heavily coned."

Full Times Call story here

303Triathlon previous stories here

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