In the coming weeks, an Ohio county park board will reportedly look closely at the structure and safety of a county bike trail following a series of serious bicycle accidents that took place on the trail. According to county officials, there have been reports of minor injuries in the past, but the fatality and serious injuries that have taken place in recent months indicate that large-scale changes need to be made to the trail in order to protect the many bicyclists who use it regularly.
The most recent bicycle accident took place earlier this month, when an 80-year-old bicyclist crashed into a post on the B&O Trail in Richland, about 100 miles southwest of Youngstown. The man was biking with his wife on the trail when he hit the post. A nurse who happened to be on the trail stayed with the man while his wife biked back to the couple's vehicle and called for help. Rescue officials took the man to a nearby hospital, where he was later listed in fair condition.
In April, a 53-year-old man was killed following in a similar accident, suffering fatal injuries when his bicycle crashed into a post.
According to the director of the Richland County Park District, bicyclists have reported similar accidents involving the trail's posts or bollards in the past, but the recent injuries and fatality have called attention to the issue. "Our trail is 17 years old and the construction was overseen by the Ohio Department of Transportation," he said. "This is going to make us take a serious look."
Source: Mansfield News Journal, "Another cyclist injured after bike trail barrier crash," Lou Whitmore, June 5, 2012