The annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley event ended in tragedy this weekend, as the Chillicothe Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Sunday responded to the scene of a fatal accident on U.S. 23.
According to the OSHP in Chillicothe, William Crowley, 57, of Northville, Mich., was participating in the 47th-annual TOSRV, returning to Columbus on Sunday. Crowley reportedly was traveling north in the right lane of U.S. 23 near Piketon at about 7:50 a.m., when his bicycle was struck from behind by a 2005 GMC Envoy, driven by Sara Bender, 35, of Lucasville. He was ejected off of his bicycle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pike County Prosecutor Tony Moraleja was on the scene to assist with the case.
"The case will be reviewed by the prosecutor's office when the investigation is complete," Moraleja said.
Bender was not injured in the crash, and no criminal charges have yet been filed. An investigation is currently pending.
The TOSRV is an annual Mother's Day weekend event, in which cyclists participate in a two-day, 210-mile tour from Columbus to Portsmouth and back again. This year, nearly 3,000 cyclists participated in the event.
According to the TOSRV Web site (www.tosrv.org), the American Red Cross First Aid Service Corps. and emergency transport vehicles are available to provide first aid to cyclists at various stops along the route. Participants are required to wear safety-approved helmets on their tour.
Tour director Charles Pace was unavailable for comment on Sunday, and local Portsmouth Tour coordinator Kim Bauer said she would defer her comment until she had a chance to speak with Pace about the incident.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.