Steamboat Springs cyclist recovering in Denver hospital after colliding with truck in Eagle County
July 29, 2013
A 72-year old Steamboat Springs man is recovering in a Denver hospital from serious injuries he sustained Friday when his bicycle collided head-on with a pickup on Colorado Highway 131.
"He’s recovering and doing well, which is miraculous," Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Ryan Parker said Monday.
Parker said Richard Berkley was on a 137-mile bike ride from Steamboat to Basalt when the crash occurred on a stretch of the highway 8 miles north of Wolcott in Eagle County.
"The visibility on the winding road is very poor," Parker said.
Parker said Berkley, a psychiatrist at Steamboat Mental Health, was heading south when a Toyota Tundra driven by 39-year-old Travis Kirby, of McCoy, was heading north and passed another vehicle.
Berkley entered the northbound lane and collided with the Tundra after the passing maneuver was complete.
Parker said Berkley may have seen two vehicles in both lanes coming at him before the crash and traveled into the northbound lane because there was a steep drop-off to his right.
Parker added that the driver of the Tundra couldn’t see the bike coming at him, and no one will be cited for the crash.
The collision closed the highway for an hour.
"No one is really at fault," he said. "There were many contributing factors."
Parker estimated the cyclist was traveling 20 to 25 mph at the time of the crash, while the pickup was traveling 35 to 40 mph.
Berkley was transported Friday to Vail Valley Medical Center and then airlifted to a Denver hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Parker said Monday that Berkley’s wife was with him at an intensive care unit, and Berkley is recovering well.
“He’s an iron man,” Parker said. “He doesn’t look like he’s 72.”
Tom Gangel, Steamboat Mental Health director, said Berkley is expected to recover and return to work.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com