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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bicyclist killed in downtown Alton

A bicyclist either fell under or rode into a passing tractor-trailer Wednesday afternoon on busy Piasa Street in Alton, Ill., dying instantly of massive head injuries, The (Alton) Telegraph reports.

The victim, Calvin E. Waters, 46, of the first block of East 12th Street in Alton, had been riding a woman's-style, blue bicycle north on the east sidewalk along Piasa Street, just north of West Broadway, at 2:46 p.m. Waters then either rode his bicycle out of the parking lot ingress-egress or "tipped off his bicycle into the street," Alton Police Chief Chris Sullivan told The Telegraph.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also reported on the story, but as of this hour, The Telegraph's story is more complete.

Alton police questioned the driver, James D. Thomas, 47, of Washington, Mo., at the Alton Law Enforcement Center, and he underwent tests for presence of drugs or alcohol, the preliminary results of which Sullivan said were negative.

"There was no indication of intoxication or use of a controlled substance," Sullivan said. "There was no apparent fault on the part of the driver."

Thomas was not cited with any offenses as of Wednesday evening.

"It was a straightforward, tragic accident," Sullivan told The Telegraph, based on preliminary findings. "It was clear (Waters) just ran under the truck."

One employee of a downtown Alton business says there's been a lot more bicycle traffic near that intersection. For people unfamiliar with Alton. The Broadway-Piasa intersection is the intersection of U.S. 67 and Illinois Route 100, better known as the Great River Road. The same employee also has noticed more and more motorists are speeding up to beat the red light at that intersection.

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