Bicyclist Hit, Killed By Snow Plow

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A snow plow hit and killed a 46-year-old bicyclist early New Year’s Day, authorities said.

The collision, which was between a private snow plow and a New Brighton man, happened just before 7 a.m. Sunday on the 4700 block of East River Road in Fridley, Minn.

Authorities say it was very dark outside and the man didn’t have any lights on his bike. The plow was driving in the left lane, going south on East River Road. The biker was going north in the same lane when he collided with the plow truck.

The plow driver hit the brakes but could not avoid hitting the bicyclist, police said.

The driver and plowing company are cooperating with the investigation. Investigators are not releasing the name of the driver or the bicyclist. No one is in custody.

Dorian Grilley, of Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN), said this incident highlights the need for bicyclists to take safety precautions and for motorists to watch out for whoever else is using the road.

“I think everyone could use a little refresher course on what the rules of the road are,” he said.

State law requires bicyclists to have a headlight that can be seen from 500 feet or a full city block. They also must have a rear reflector, so approaching cars can see them. Biking with traffic is the law.

“Bicyclists must obey all the rules of the road,” Grilley said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Grilley hopes drivers do their part too and keep a lookout for bicyclists.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Fridley Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the crash.

  • mvn

    It’s obvious you didn’t!! Don’t know what you’re reading and quoting?!

    “Authorities say it was very dark outside and the biker didn’t have any lights on their bike.”

    This sentence is 100% correct.

    • acd

      Actually, it’s not. “the biker” is singular, and “their” is plural. It should have said “on his bike” or “on her bike.” There is also a comma missing between “outside” and “and.” In fact, there are plenty of errors in this piece.

      • Help me spell

        You won an argument on the Internet in a comment blog. All hail acd.

      • Raoul Duke

        You are worse than Hitler.

        • Ferris Lind

          How long could we maintain i wondered ? How Long before one us starts raving and jabbering at this boy .

        • Hesh Rabkin

          Hey…whoah…whoah..whoah…whoah. Back up. Hitler?

      • Herb

        I agree. I don’t know what high school they hire reporters from, but over the last year, the articles have been grammatically atrocious. It’s all turned into a ‘Eye-Candy’ battle for television viewership.

  • Jane Anderson

    I feel terrible for the dead biker. But, when will bikers realize that they may have a right to the road but will lose any battle with a vehicle? Councilman Russ Stark of St. Paul wants to make bike paths all over on roads to give bikers the illusion that their going 10MPH will allow the bikers to supposedly blend into traffic. Expect more biker-vehicle deaths.

    • Pee Wee Herman

      Well said, Jane. This is, of course, a very sad story and my heart goes out ot the family of the bike rider. However, that said, I will also say this: at the risk of painting everyone who rides a bike with the same broad brush, I drive downtown Mpls on a daily basis. I’ve never seen a motorist show as much disregard for traffic laws as many bicyclists do…and there are a lot of bad motorists out there. Motorists need to pay more attention as well, as bicyclists should be able to ride without fear for their life. However, bicyclists gotta have their heads on a swivel. Laws or no laws, a vehicle is gonna win that matchup every time.

      • SZ

        Well said!

    • bird love

      Um, he didn’t have lights. That’s the problem. As long as cyclists are smart, there should be no problem with sharing the road.

      • Carla

        Well, you’ve used the words “cyclist” and “smart” in the same sentence. There’s the first problem.

        • Sam

          Very glib argument, Carla. Doesn’t bother to back itself up in any way, just insults a group that’s different from you.

          This cyclist was an idiot. There are plenty of other idiot cyclists. However, there are also plenty of drivers out there. People weaving through traffic, going straight from turn lanes, turning from straight-only lanes, not bothering to signal, running red lights, etc… The ratios are about the same.
          The worst part about it is that when a cyclist is an idiot, the cyclist is in the most danger. But when a motorist is an idiot, everyone around that person is at risk of being run over or smashed into.
          As a motorist, I would far prefer a run-in with an idiot cyclist to a run-in with an idiot motorist.

    • Chris

      And a bigger vehicle will win over a smaller vehicle all of the time too. Your argument is the most idiotic one that is out there. Try getting in a car accident with a semi truck and let me know how that works out for you.

      No one deserves to die no matter if they are in a car accident which happens all of time (weird-uh? Let’s see those stats.) or riding a bike.

      • William Munny

        Deserves got nothin to do with it.

        • Motorist

          ‘Deserves’ has everything to do with it.
          Last winter I was on a commercial street the morning after a large snowfall. I’m behind a semi and three cars, all having to crawl at 5mph because some nitwit on a bike is riding through 6 inches of snow and frozen ice. He has all of the right lane blocked. We finally get around him, and at the next light I pullup to him as he is about to turn left. I wind down my window and ask him why he’s out in that weather. He unloads on me with a barrage of insults, telling me why he has the ‘right’ to be there. Some poor soul is eventually going to have an accident due to that idiot, and it will be the car driver that is at fault when the moron on the bike was the one who put everyone at risk.
          My opinion: Any idiot on a bicycle, on public streets after a snow fall has every ‘right’ to be in an accident like everyone else.

    • Ben Ortega

      There’s nothing dangerous about it if everyone follows traffic laws — and motorists realize that they do not have a right to go as fast as they want on residential streets. I get beeped at all the time while riding ~20MPH on 30MPH roads in St. Paul, enough to make me wonder if anyone actually understands the concept of a speed limit.

      I do wish, though, that lights weren’t after-market accessories on bikes–it’s irresponsible to sell someone a method of transportation that is missing such an important feature.

      • Ed Anderson

        Well let me take this opportunity to say “GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!” I could care less if you ride a bike or a car or even what speed you want to go.

        Have a social conscience and realize that you are not the only one on the road and people use cars to get faster than if they walk or ride a bike.

        I bet you go 50 in a 65 in the left lane and speed up when people try to pass. .

        • Ian Cooper

          A cyclist has the same right to the road that you do. And you do not have a right to go at the speed limit. Your speed is determined by the fellow in front of you who has the right of way.

          • Motorist

            Wrong Ian!
            The speed limit law gives you the right to go the speed limit. It is the situation that dictates what speed you can safely go. It is the bicyclists in this case that have no regard for those around them. They think they are ‘SPECIAL’. Well, you’re not. You have to yield just like every other vehicle, and that includes when you are going so slow as to create a nuisance or unsafe condition.

          • Mark Dayton

            Even if you are right, why be such an ass? Is this what they call Minnesota nice?

            Be kind and considerate to your fellow human beings and move over.

            • Motorist

              I’m assuming you are telling the bikers to move over; since your response is a sub-response to Ian Cooper. And I’d agree with with that. Bikers should move over. Then again, bikers should not run red lights, ride at night in dark clothes and no lights, and quit being such jerks.

    • Dumb Bicyclist

      “The plow was driving in the left lane, going south on East River Road. The biker was going north in the same lane when he collided with the plow truck.”

      Why was the bicyclist driving in the left (center) lane head-on into the plow?

      • Ian Cooper

        Good question. It’s clear that the cyclist was to blame in this case, as riding without lights is illegal and contributed to the accident. Riding against traffic is typical of ignorant cyclists – they think it’s safer (it’s not), but even wrong-way cyclists usually stick to the right lane or the shoulder. At a guess, this idiot was drunk or high.

  • Dustin

    Its a 4 lane 55mph road at that location, he would not have been walking in the correct lane by a longshot.

    • tastes like chicken

      @ Dustin………by a longshot, your a turd muncher!

  • Crazy is ...

    Begs the question – it was dark out. The plow had lights on. The biker DID NOT see the plow and make a move?
    Okay – tragic accident. But OMG bikers – wake the frick up and get out of the way. I feel for the family but wow – I also feel as bad for the driver.

  • angus

    Forgetting the grammar, punctuation, and sepelling, which I continually mess up the facts are:
    The biker was going the wrong way
    It was dark
    He had no lights on his bike
    If he had clothing to reflect lights, by the time thee rider is seen it is too late
    It was a high speed highway
    The rider may have assumed the driver would see him and go around him.
    Conclusion: Driver not at fault. However, the driver, his family, and the victims family will all have to live with this, probably for the rest of their lives.
    I ride bike in town and country and even when doing everythinng right I have had drivers cut me off. I think the main reasons are the driver is watching for cars and does not really see bikers or they assume us old duffers are going 5 mph.

  • Kevin


  • Patty

    I feel bad for the loss to the biker’s family and for what the driver will undoubtedly live with in his mind for the rest of his life. But I have to add that with the weather last night and into the early morning hours was not the time to be on a bike, especially on such a busy section of road.

    • howandsometimeswhy

      Bikes have just as much right to the road as automobiles, even in inclement weather. However, he should have been moving with traffic (sounds like he was riding against traffic) and should have had lights on if it was dark out.

      • Come on ,,,,they abuse the roads daily

        Bikes indeed do – and they have to obey the laws in the same manner too. If cars were like bikers in running lights, signs, cutting in and out and all the dam stupid things many bikers do daily we’d have no issue as they would slaughter every biker out there, That said – they mostly do obey laws.
        Bikers ,,,,, wake up. The world has enough GD idiots without you too

        • Ian Cooper

          Yeah, motorists are paragons of virtue on the road. They never run ‘no turn on red’ signs, always stop at stop signs, never speed. Give me a break!

          Half of them couldn’t pass a driving test if it was administered today. 90% of them don’t even know that a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Most cyclists know traffic law better than most drivers.

          • Motorist

            Stop these ‘other people never’ arguments. That’s childish. As for half of them couldn’t pass a driving test, non-sense. Your position is ridiculous. THEY DID PASS THE TEST. And, if ‘most’ cyclists know the traffic laws better than most drivers, why do they constantly blow through red lights, fish through stopped traffic at red lights, and perform like selfish idiots. And I will confirm, MOST of them do! We all see it, we know better; so stop trying to tell us what we experience all the time is the exception. It is not.

  • Fric

    You got me again wcco
    I like the dot plow truck in the picture.

  • g8bbgg

    I too feel for the family of this man. But as another downtown worker I have never seen so many death wishes as the people on bikes. I am sick and tired of hearing about how bicyclists are treated in Europe. I was in Copenhagen last summer and saw thousands of bicyclist and they were ALL obeying the laws. Motor vehicles are willing to share the road, bicyclist need to share as well and respect their own lives by obeying the laws and using their brains.

    • Jean-Paul Dangerbunny Beaulieu

      As a cyclist, I agree 100%.

    • @ Bikers

      I agree. I can’t tell you hoe many times I have been passed at a red light, by a biker that ran it. Then of course I catch up, and have to sit behind the slow arse as they ride in the middle of the road, Makes me want to beat them. I don’t dislike bikers at all, but I hate the ones that ride like fools.

  • Sam I am

    Very sad story but why on earth is anyone riding a bike in this weather.

    • howandsometimeswhy

      Well aside from the fact that some people can’t afford to drive an automobile, some people prefer not spending their lives in a cage.

      • dumb comment

        how about a car idiot? oooooh

      • Motorist

        Why is it bikers seem to like using the extremes in their arguments? Can’t afford a car, so the only alternative is to ‘live in a cage’. “A Cage???” Where the hell does that logic come from? It’s the limited mentality of stupid bicyclists. So rigid, so one-sided; so reflective of the mentality.

        • howandsometimeswhy

          Yeah, because none of the motorists posting on this forum have a rigid one-sided mentality?! Since yesterday 3 people have threatened to KILL me rather than take a few seconds to slow down and go around me. Apparently a few moments of their life is worth more than the entirety of mine. There’s nothing rigid and one-sided about that is there?

          Oh, and let me simplify what I thought was already a pretty simple sentence so you can understand:
          Some people can’t afford to drive a car. Some OTHER people who CAN afford to drive a car, CHOOSE not to (drive a car) because they don’t like to experience life from inside a box or a cage. (box and cage are synonyms for car. That is cage=car)

          • t

            keep riding where you dont belong and when you dont belong being there and yes you to can live inside a box

  • bird love

    Keep Eating your McDonalds and talking on your phones while driving. Obviously this cyclist wasn’t being very safe and I certainly do not feel the driver was at fault. There are so many smart, safe and respectful cyclists though. In my opinion there are way more terrible drivers I see every day.

  • xxx

    When I was driving home last night, I would have been in the same shoes as the plow driver.
    We were only driving about 30 mph on a 70 mph road and we could see to about 1/2 of the head light distance. If any walker or bike rider had been on the road, myself or another driver would certainly have nailed them. It was just tough, tough driving conditions, where no walker or cycle rider shuld have been.

    • howandsometimeswhy

      So just what do you suggest for someone who does not have the luxury of owning an automobile?

      If you’re going 30MPH, but can’t see far enough ahead to react to and avoid potential obstructions, you should slow down even more.

      169.14 Subd. 3.Reduced speed required. (a) The driver of any vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching or passing an authorized emergency vehicle stopped with emergency lights flashing on any street or highway, when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

      • Heath

        Darwin’s law will remove the fools from the equation.

      • Sam I am

        You have a mighty big chip on your shoulder. Nobody should be riding a bike in freezing rain and sleet, down the middle of the road with no reflectors or lights.

        There are plenty of other people that can’t afford a car that ride the bus or take a cab. Also nobody is above asking for a ride.

        • howandsometimeswhy

          This wasn’t in reference to the specific accident above. This was in reference to XXX’s comment “where no walker or cycle rider shuld have been.” I never suggested that riding a bike at night without lights or reflectors against traffic was smart.

          Yes if you’re riding in the rain and sleet you should have lights. And if you’re driving in the rain and sleet, you should drive slow enough to avoid obstacles in your path, including cyclists who have every right to be out on the road (assuming that they’re following vehicular statutes).

          • t

            you should ride a bike more often

      • Motorist

        I’d suggest you “TAKE THE DAMN BUS!!!” Or, “CALL A FRIEND TO COME AND GET YOU!” Just like the rest of us do when we are without transportation.
        Only a complete IDIOT would get on a bicycle on icy streets and expect to not get hurt. GROW UP!!!!

  • Bicyclist Hit & Killed by Snow Plow | BikeMinneapolis

    […] Bicyclist Hit & Killed by Snow Plow January 1, 2012By TimOA cyclist was hit and killed riding his bike early Sunday morning in Fridley. Read the full report here. […]

  • pkelly

    if you take the risk, you suffer the consequences. Risk goes up significantly when it’s dark and nobody can see you. But, you bikers have a right to the road. Go Biking!

  • LosingWeight

    i ride to work daily in Mpls – sad for all, and especially or the plow driver…lights need to be madatory day or night.

  • Jake

    I’ve driven a service van every day from dark til dawn for the last 25 years and have seen so many bicycle riders commit dangerous acts, I have come to despise them. They whine and cry about rules of the road but when it comes to a stop sign or red light, do you think they stop? Not a chance..they slow down and go if it suits them. The ones I see most are the older men and younger women in those spandex type pants who think they own the road. I’ll wager this biker was wearing those biker tights and thought they owned the road..without a light? Sad but oh so true.

    • Chris

      So now “biker tights” lead to accidents.

      I’m assuming you’ve never seen a bad automobile driver in that 25 years of your driving from dark until dawn — right? And I assume you always follow the posted speed limit and slow down when the light turns yellow versus gunning it through so you don’t have to stop for the red. You’d be surprised by how many laws you’re breaking everyday you drive. Get educated and we can all live a better life.

    • howandsometimeswhy

      I’ve ridden a bike nearly every day for 14 years have seen so many motorists commit dangerous acts, I have come to despise them.

      • morons abound

        How’s about this then – we meet head on? ;-)
        One less idiot creating trouble.

        • howandsometimeswhy

          You’ve already tried that, and I PREVAILED!

      • Goose

        See you on the road, skag.

  • JML

    Please don’t forget that a person died. Pretend his family and friends are reading your comments.

    • Brett

      I haven’t forgotten. I also know that it is an act of SUICIDE to be riding your BICYCLE on or near a public street or HIGHWAY in Minnesota during this time of year. Do you know how fast and unpredictable the roads can get and accidents happen? Answer: In the blink of an eye. I just shake my head EVERY TIME I see a ‘biker’ riding their bike along a busy street or highway. It’s like they are PRAYING to get hit.

  • northern minnesota

    I have not yet to this day seen a bike come with headlights.

    • Brett

      BUT, you can BUY THEM, and MOUNT THEM on your bike, you the 2-3 TON vehicles don’t RUN YOU OVER. Actually, if you ride at NIGHT, it is STATE LAW that you have these, just in case you didn’t know. If you ride at night without lights, you ride at your own risk, and if you get maimed or killed, I won’t shed a single tear for your stupid butt, especially along a main highway/thoroughfare. Just because you are more VULNERABLE doesn’t mean that you have more ‘rights’ than anybody else. You are expected to exercise some COMMON SENSE.

  • Brett

    Let’s see…….riding a bicycle, not a ‘bike’ (yes, I actually did see a Harley rider out on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, which I thought was STUPID), when the weather forecast called for rain/sleet/snow, followed by high winds and cold. Makes me think that ANYBODY riding a bicycle in this weather/time of year on or NEAR a public road needs their HEAD EXAMINED, BIG TIME. Suicide mission perhaps? A little TIP for you ‘hard core’ BICYCLE RIDERS out there: During this time of the year, even though we haven’t had much snow or cold, this is a very DANGEROUS TIME OF THE YEAR for you to be riding around on or near public streets or roads. MOST drivers don’t expect you to be out and about, and for GOOD REASON. Put the bikes away for a couple of months, it makes SENSE, especially when you ride without ANY lights.

    • howandsometimeswhy

      That’s because MOST drivers need to be re-educated. There’s no GOOD REASON cyclists should have to put their bicycles away for the winter, any more than motorists should have to put their automobiles away for winter.

      • Guy

        Yes there is – cars have HEATERS – bikes do not. Its called “freezing your tukus off”

      • Brett

        RUBBISH. Pure, unadulterated RUBBISH. Just because you CAN ride your unlit, dangerous, and poorly handling bike in a snowstorm at NIGHT doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. Learn some COMMON SENSE for a change. If you want to DIE for a stupid ’cause’, that is YOUR PROBLEM. Obviously, you aren’t a student of physics, EITHER.

        • Ian Cooper

          I’m guessing you’ve never had a bicycle as your only transportation option. Believe it or not, some folks can’t afford cars.

          • Motorist

            Take the bus!

      • Brett

        Here’s a clue. Cars have *4* wheels, not two. They also have LIGHTS on them that are supposed to be working. They also have seat belts, a ‘cage’, real brakes, windshield wipers, etc. I don’t need ANY ‘re-education’. YOU DO. Ride these dangerous ‘vehicles’ along or on public streets at your own risk, especially during the winter.

      • howandsometimeswhywill die

        um you are wrong. look up some physics an cobtact patches. i have no worries if i encounter a biker on a snowy road at night. if its you – so be it. i wont be the one lying there bleeding.,,,

      • Goose

        See you on the road, skag. See you like we saw your friend, The Nightrider.

  • me

    Keep a look out for bicyclists …. otherwise you might MISS them & have to come around for another pass & during that time they can escape.

    • Brett

      LOL!!! If any of you bikers want to become a hood ornament, just keep riding in the dark, cold, snowy events that take place here just about every day during the winter!!

  • Optimist

    I suppose a biker expects physics to make an exception? Think about how he wasn’t trying to prevent this from happening. I am always nervous my wheelwell is going to eat up one of these goofballs everytime I drive downtown.

    • Brett

      Like, DUH. I think that most winter bike riders need a psychological examination, for GOOD REASON.

  • RF

    I am deeply saddened by the loss of a friend and the father of my children, RIP

  • Gary Delnero

    I’m personally unwilling to insist my boys go fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our interests (oil) in the Middle East, so I bike in all kinds of weather, year-round. The notion that this is suicidal creates the bigger problem: too many drivers and too few cyclists. Thus- too little bike-education, too little demand for reasonably priced, fully equipped (w/ lights, fenders) commuter bikes.

    • Jean-Paul Dangerbunny Beaulieu

      I am sad for a cyclist death. As I read these mostly idiotic comments about how dangerous it is to ride a bike and ‘oh no, you might get hurt so stay inside’ arguements. I feel I must point out a fact.

      Perr Wcco:
      “Fifty-four of those New Year’s Day crashes occurred in the metro area with 11 reporting injuries, 68 vehicles off the road or spin outs and nine drivers arrested for suspected DWI in the Twin Cities area. ”

      And one bicycle accident.

      You see cyclist can see the world around them, unlike a car or suv driver who can only see what is directly in front of them (not obscured by a cell phone). We can usually avoid a dangerous situation, simply by being more aware. Sure, people who ride bikes have varying levels of common sense. But I’ve never heard of a person on a bike being responsible for killing other people due to carelessness. Only themselves. A careless driver on the other hand? The numbers speak for themselves.

      Every year, a handful of cyclist deaths, sometimes the cyclist is at fault. And hundreds of car/suv deaths, a driver is always at fault.

      • Brett

        Hey, DUMMY, that’s because MOST Twin Citians know BETTER than to ride an unlit BICYCLE on NEW YEAR’S. Don’t you GET IT?? It’s STUPID, BEYOND BELIEF, no matter how much you want to ‘save the planet’. It’s like jumping into a bullring with a dozen angry bulls, all by yourself. GET A CLUE.

    • Johnny Sack

      You want to commit suicide? Pills are allot easier.

  • Old School

    Was the bicyclist preparing to make a lefthand turn? If so, he was where he should be.

    • Old School

      Sorry, I watched the video again, and I’m wrong. The cyclist had no business being in that lane.

  • SM

    Come on people…this was a tragedy for both sides. How about a little respect for the involved and their families.

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