‘It’s concerning’: 2 bicyclists killed in separate crashes in less than 24 hours

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Authorities in Chesterfield and Henrico counties are investigating separate crashes after two men were killed in less than 24 hours while riding bicycles.

These fatalities happened less than a month after new bike safety laws were put in place across Virginia.

In 2020, the Virginia DMV reported 560 bicycle crashes with eight fatalities. Those numbers are down from 2019 where there were more than 650 crashes with 13 deaths.

However, in a matter of 17 hours on Sunday, two men were killed while riding their bicycles on the road.

“It is concerning,” said Sgt. Stephan Rouze, with Chesterfield Police. “Everybody wants to be out, everybody has somewhere to go. We just need everyone to pay attention, drivers and pedestrians to what they’re doing.”

Now an investigation is underway into what led up to a deadly bicycle crash on Hull Street Road.

Officers said the driver of an SUV, Michael Moore, took off from the scene after hitting 28-year-old Wilson Jones on a bicycle.

“In the last year and a half to two years we (Chesterfield County) have only had two bicycle fatalities, both of those were within the last month,” Rouze said.

The first fatality was back on July 8 on Jefferson Davis Highway near Chippenham Parkway. The second, Sunday’s crash on Hull Street Road, which killed Jones.

“At this point, we’re not sure which direction the bicyclist was traveling,” Rouze said. “We have asked if anybody saw Mr. Jones prior to the incident, to please contact us.”

A section of Hull Street Road near Turner Road was shut down for several hours. However, roughly 17 hours after that crash, another bicyclist was killed in Henrico.

First responders found Shakir Afzal, 47, of Glen Allen, dead on Chamberlayne Avenue near E. Parham Road.

Police said the driver of the car that hit Afzal stayed on the scene, but speed and alcohol are not factors in the crash.

“The big thing we see time and again in cases like this is driver distraction or the pedestrian is not wearing proper clothing and not being visible to the vehicles,” Rouze said. “We always encourage people to wear bright-colored clothing, carry a flashlight at nighttime... stay off your phones.”

All of these crashes happening after new bike safety laws were put in effect on July 1.

Officers are now reminding both drivers and bikers to be aware of their surroundings.

“We just want people to get places safe,” Rouze said. “That’s why we’re out there doing so much enforcement.”

Anyone with information on either one of these crashes is urged to contact authorities.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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