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Wisconsin driver abandons car after bicycle accident, rider dies

At approximately 9:00 a.m. on June 1, someone traveling down Highway G in the Wisconsin city of Delmar noticed a vehicle that had been abandoned and some pieces of what appeared to be a bicycle. On further inspection, the passerby found the victim of a car vs. bicycle accident. Sheriff's deputies were sent to the scene and found the victim deceased.

The investigation is not yet concluded, but initial reports indicate that the bicycle rider was traveling north when it was hit by a southbound vehicle. Evidence at the scene suggests that the driver of the car never even attempted to avoid hitting the bicycle. After the collision, the car veered into the oncoming lane and ended up in a ditch.

The flashing light on the cyclist's helmet was still blinking when his body was found. He had suffered numerous broken bones and had internal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown whether getting the man medical attention at the time of the crash would have saved his life.

Police have been able to determine that at approximately 5:30 a.m. on June 1 the driver contacted a friend to come get her and take her home. She never contacted authorities about the accident. She was located at around 11:30 a.m. Even though several hours had passed, a toxicology sample was taken and sent for analysis.

The driver has had numerous traffic citations and convictions over the years, and did not have a valid driver's license on the night of the car vs. bicycle accident. Even if she ends up facing criminal charges in connection with the cyclist's death, his family still retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against her under Wisconsin law. Filing a lawsuit certainly won't bring back their loved one, but it may give them some sense of justice on his behalf.

Source: The Chippewa Herald, "Authorities: Driver in fatal crash had come from tavern," June 4, 2013

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