HAYWARD, Wis. (AP/WCCO) — A founding member of the American Birkebeiner Nordic ski race in northern Wisconsin has died of injuries suffered in a bike accident.

Sixty-two-year-old David Landgraf of Bloomer died Monday afternoon at a hospital in Duluth, Minn. The retired Bloomer High School physical education teacher was biking on Highway 27 near Hayward last Friday when he was struck.

A Sawyer County sheriff’s report says the 24-year-old woman that hit Landgraf had turned to talk to her children and when she turned back, she saw the biker, swerved to avoid him, but struck him.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says Landgraf was one of only three people to ski every American Birkebeiner since its founding in 1973.

“He was an amazing person and part of the very fabric of the Birkie,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner, in a statement. “To see Dave in that lone, red Founder’s bib, coming across the finish line with men many years his junior, is just a testament to Dave’s spirit as a person and an athlete. He represented something very special to so many skiers.”

Landgraf also coached Nordic skiing for more than four decades and helped develop the Hickory Ridge Ski Trails near his home in Bloomer, Wis.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (9)
  1. tom says:

    I am a biker too. Damn scarey on the roads. People wake up!

  2. Alex says:

    It wasn’t a “bike accident.” He was hit by a car. This was a case of negligent vehicular operation.

  3. Ted says:

    Alex, I’m with you. The headline makes it sound like he fell mountain biking or something. There”s another article under “We recommend” that’s titled “Police: Wis. Bicyclist killed by distracted driver” Now that sounds more accurate.

  4. Dan says:

    Agree with Alex on this one — this isn’t a “bicycle crash”, this is an inattentive driver killing someone.

  5. Dave says:

    Dear CBS….Please correct the headline on this story ASAP. This man did not die from “Bike Crash Injuries”. He died as the result of being hit by a car. A better title would be “Ski Race Founder dies after being struck by distracted driver” or similar. The title, as is, is very misleading.

  6. Philip says:

    Fix the title. Distracted driver kills cyclist in WI.

  7. Joe says:

    Really – change the headline. It’s not like he ran into a curb. He was struck and killed by a driver. That’s not a “crash”.

  8. Marvin says:

    Extremely misleading headline. The accident was by an inattentive DRIVER in a CAR hitting a cyclist, which is ignored in the headline. Fix it WCCO.

  9. aj moses says:

    The National Safety Council and most law enforcement agencies dropped the term ACCIDENT many years ago. It’s a crash – and yes, the police report from Sawyer County Sheriff’s office shows the driver was cited for inattentive driving.

    Most important – semantics aside – is the loss of this man – husband, father, brother, son and friend is the real issue – to a senseless act. I ask – is he any less dead than if someone stood in the road and shot him? I recently spent 7 days cycling through the countryside in Great Britain with my wife. Not once did we feel threatened, never hear a horn at our backs, drivers were extrodinarilly courteous. What’s up with the rudeness, agression and simply thoughtless negligence in this country? HANG UP AND DRIVE! PUT DOWN THE FRIES AND DRIVE! STOP TEXTING AND DRIVE!