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Driver made no attempt to avoid striking cyclist: Coroner

Mercedes Fraser
Image Credit: Source/Facebook
May 23, 2013 - 12:13 PM

MERCEDES FRASER KILLED RIDING BIKE

The driver of a car that struck and killed a 17-year-old cyclist may have fallen asleep and made no attempt to brake or swerve to avoid hitting the girl, according to a B.C. Coroners report released this week.

Coroner Patrick Duncan says Fraser died of blunt force trauma after she was struck by a car while riding her bike to work August 17, 2012. Fraser was in the bike lane, traveling east on 25 Avenue to a summer job at the Vernon Army Camp. Her helmet was tucked away in her backpack.

Duncan says the driver of the 2012 Mazda 3, Rose Harmon, who was 68 at the time, was going between 71-75 km/h in the 50 km/h zone when she drifted into the bike lane, bumped the curb, then collided with Fraser. Her vehicle came to a rest after hitting a metal crosswalk pole at the corner of the intersection with 32 Street.

"The driver stated she remembers nothing of the incident from when she turned onto 25 Avenue from 32 Street and saw the large store on the right, until she realized she had struck the pole," Duncan says in his report. "She stated she may have fallen asleep."

Duncan says the weather was dry and clear that day. At 6:23 a.m. it was daylight and visibility was good on the well maintained four-lane roadway.

"There was no evidence in the Traffic Analyst Report that the driver of the car initiated any braking or swerving maneuvers  to avoid Mercedes or the crosswalk pole," Duncan says.

Harman has been charged with driving without due care and attention, under the Motor Vehicle Act. She is expected to make a first court appearance in June.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call (250)309-5230.

25 Avenue and 37 Street in Vernon, where 17-year-old Mercedes Fraser was hit by a car believed to have been traveling 20 km above the speed limit.
25 Avenue and 37 Street in Vernon, where 17-year-old Mercedes Fraser was hit by a car believed to have been traveling 20 km above the speed limit.
Image Credit: SOURCE/ Google Street View

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
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