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Star Colorado Biker Killed in Boulder Crash With Car

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

A tragic accident that claimed the life of a top teen cyclist is yet another tragic reminder that bikes and cars still do not always mix well in Colorado and across the country.

Magnus White was recently killed after being struck by a car in Boulder, according to several local and national news reports. The 17-year-old cyclist reportedly was hit by the vehicle while training for a world championship event.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the White family, his teammates, friends, and the Boulder community during this incredibly difficult time,” USA Cycling said in a statement posted to the organization’s website. “We ride for Magnus.”

White began racing at the age of 10 and was said to be on the path to a career in competitive cycling, focusing in particular in off-road events. He represented USA Cycling in a season of European Cyclocross racing after winning the 2021 Junior 17-18 Cyclocross National Championships.

He was preparing for the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships, due to start in Glasgow, Scotland on Aug. 10. It was the first time White had earned a spot on the team competing in the event.

Colorado Public Radio has details of the apparent crash.

“The Colorado State Patrol responded to a crash around noon Saturday involving a 17-year-old male cyclist and a 23-year-old female driver,” Paolo Zialcita reports for CPR. “While the profile of the incident closely matches what White’s family has said about his death, a coroner has yet to publicly identify the victim.”

“CSP Trooper Gabriel Moltrer said the bike rider and the motorist, who was driving a Toyota Matrix, were both traveling southbound on Highway 119 near Gunbarrel. The driver drifted from her lane into the right shoulder, colliding with the 17-year-old biker, Moltrer said.”

The cyclist reportedly was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. He was thrown from his bike and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

“He was a rising star in the off-road cycling scene and his passion for cycling was evident through his racing and camaraderie with his teammates and local community,” USA Cycling said.

Colorado Bikers: You are at Risk

White’s tragic death underscores the serious safety risks that bicycle riders face every day that they hit the road. The threat is real, even for people who are internationally known for their cycling.

The risk of a car accident is simply a fact of life for anyone who gets in a vehicle in Colorado or throughout the U.S. Crashes involving bicycles are far less common than those involving other vehicles, but they are significantly more likely to result in serious injuries for bike riders.

About 1% of the roughly 190,000 traffic accidents reported in Denver over the last eight years involved bicycles, according to Denver Police Department data compiled by KDVR. While Denver sees about 70 traffic accidents a week, only about one per week involves a bike. 

At the same time, bicyclists are six times as likely than others to be seriously injured when crashes happen, the data show. Bicycle riders were seriously injured in about 12% of crashes over an eight-year period, for example.

Negligent car and truck drivers are often to blame when these accidents happen. Whether it is speeding, getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or becoming distracted, drivers turn their vehicles into lethal weapons when they act recklessly or carelessly. In many situations, drivers simply seem to not understand their responsibilities when it comes to sharing the road with cyclists.

Bicycle riders were not at fault in nearly 59 percent of crashes with cars in Colorado over the last decade, according to data compiled by local news outlet KUNC.

Colorado law requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, complying with traffic laws and refraining from dangerous activity. Drivers who do not live up to this responsibility are likely to be found negligent and liable for any accidents that happen as a result.

Know the Rules of the Road

Still, there are steps that bike riders can take to try to reduce the risk of a crash. Failing to do so not only increases the chance of a collision but jeopardizes your ability to get compensation in the event of an accident.

Colorado is a comparative negligence state. A person who is found to be less than 50% responsible for an accident will have his or her money damages reduced proportionately. A person who is found 50% or more at fault is barred from obtaining compensation for his or her injuries under state law.

Car drivers passing bicycles traveling in the same direction are required to allow at least three feet between the right side of the vehicle and the bicycle. Bicyclists must stay in the right-hand lane at all times, except when preparing to make a left turn, overtaking a slower vehicle or avoiding hazards.

Although many states have enacted laws requiring bike riders to strap on helmets before hitting the road, doing so remains voluntary in Colorado. Bicyclists of all ages can legally operate their bikes without helmets, even though it puts them at risk of serious and even life-threatening head injuries.

Cyclists can go a long way in protecting their safety and their legal rights by complying with traffic laws and wearing a helmet. Anyone who opts to go helmetless – even though helmets are not legally required – may be considered to have assumed the risk.

Speak with a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, bicycle or other crash in Colorado, a Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.