Pickup hits cyclist on popular Littleton riding route; driver blames cyclists

Riders: Pickup driver yelled profanities

LITTLETON, Colo. - A cyclist was struck and injured on Deer Creek Canyon Road Sunday and state troopers cited the driver for careless driving.

Byron Nix, 45, of Centennial, was riding with a dozen other cyclists on Deer Creek Canyon Road Sunday morning, when a pickup truck came up behind them.

"So, we're getting into single file, and the driver was exchanging words with the guy behind me," Nix told 7NEWS. "I saw his bumper hit my tire, and the next thing I know, I guess he accelerated and my bike went under the car."

Nix was transported to a hospital. He suffered strains to his hip and neck as well as bruises.

"I have a wife and four kids," said Nix. "It's just hard to imagine someone would have such a lack of respect for human life."

Cyclists who were riding with Nix said the driver had been yelling profanities before the collision and was intentionally driving too close to them.

"He came so close to us that it seemed he wanted to touch us with his side-view mirror," said James Dunkleberger.

"It's just disheartening to know there are people out there like this."

Alexander Gillett was riding in the group and said he was shocked by the driver's response after the crash.

"He was swearing and picked up Byron's bike and tossed it up the road," said Gillett. "It appeared there was no remorse at all. You would think someone would apologize."

The driver, 72-year-old Andrew Hoover, told 7NEWS he was trying to get around the cycling group and blamed the cyclists for riding too far from the shoulder.

Signs on Deer Creek Canyon Road instruct cyclists to ride in single file formation. Hoover said the cyclists he saw on Sunday morning were riding in a group.

However, Colorado state law mandates that drivers give cyclists a three-foot cushion.

Colorado State Patrol troopers cited Hoover for careless driving.

It's just the latest car-bike conflict on the Front Range.

A September incident where a Front Range driver honked repeatedly at cyclists was caught on camera, and troopers later cited that driver as well.

A spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's office told 7NEWS that conflicts and intentional tossing of tacks and nails onto that road in the past had "improved dramatically" over the past two years, due to several meetings with riders and residents.

In 2001, Hoover was cited for careless driving in Denver and pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of operating an unsafe vehicle, according to court records. He also pleaded guilty to speeding in Jefferson County in 2000, court records state.

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