Teen injured in van, bike crash [UPDATED]

Published 9:27am Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Updated 11:32am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A minivan hit a teenage bicyclist Tuesday afternoon in Fergus Falls, according to police.

The 17-year-old Fergus Falls girl was biking northbound on the west sidewalk along South Court Street at about 3 p.m. when she reportedly rode across West Washington Avenue without stopping and was then hit by the van, headed west on Washington.

The 69-year-old Underwood woman driving the minivan said she didn’t see the teen until the last second.

The girl had minor scratches on her hands and possibly a broken collar bone from the incident. She was taken by Ringdahl to Lake Region Healthcare.


  • AFMama

    I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. Even though I feel there are more responsible cyclists out there than irresponsible ones, I have seen more and more people riding on the sidewalks in Fergus. They tend to feel that they have the right of way when they enter a crosswalk, and most do so w/o looking to see if a car is approaching. I do believe the law states that cyclists are supposed to walk their bikes across the crosswalk, unless they are riding in the road, then they have to follow the same rules as people driving vehicles. Glad the girls injuries weren’t any worse; she is lucky, she could have been killed.

    • BrendanJanssen

      Well if she’s at a crosswalk, does she not have the right away? Cars are SUPPOSED to let people cross at crosswalks.

      However, she should have looked simply for her own safety because no one in Fergus does this (unless driving styles have significantly changed over the past few years).

      • AFMama

        This is one of the statutes (I know, it is lengthy…trying to find out what FF says about riding on sidewalks).

        (d) A person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk, or across a roadway or shoulder on a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal when
        necessary before overtaking and passing any pedestrian. No person shall ride a bicycle upon a
        sidewalk within a business district unless permitted by local authorities. Local authorities may prohibit the operation of bicycles on any sidewalk or crosswalk under their jurisdiction

        If a cyclist is allowed by law in FF, then this would apply:
        (f) A person lawfully operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, or across a roadway or shoulder on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

        But, like you said, she should have looked before crossing. I see pedestrians stepping out and cyclists riding out into the road all the time w/o looking to see if a car will stop for them. They just assume the person driving will stop. Having to slam on your brakes in order to avoid hitting someone who just zips out in front of you is definitely not safe. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are all obligated to be more aware of their surroundings, but I see more people texting or talking on the phone while driving, biking and walking, or doing other things that distract them.

  • Steph

    I am glad to hear that this young lady is relatively OK, but may I use this as a reminder to use a bike helmet while out riding. It can save your life. As for riding on the sidewalk, I admit to riding on the sidewalks with my two young children because I don’t trust motorists to see their little bodies. We do, however, always stop at crosswalks and alleys to make sure there are no cars coming,let the cars go first if it’s their turn, and always wear helmets. Common sense and common courtesy go a long way towards peaceful car/bike relationships. Happy safe biking everyone.

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