A bicyclist who was struck and killed in Palo Alto on Aug. 15 apparently ran a stop sign when he collided with a car, Palo Alto police have determined.
Eugene Conroy, 73, of East Palo Alto, was riding his bike at about 9:40 a.m. at the intersection of Greenwood and Hutchinson avenues that morning when the accident occurred. He sustained major injuries and was transported to a hospital. He died the following day, according to police.
An investigation by Palo Alto Police Department's Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team determined that Conroy did not stop at the stop sign while traveling east on Greenwood. The driver of a 1993 Nissan Altima was traveling north on Hutchinson, which does not have a stop sign, when the car struck Conroy in the intersection, police said at the time. The driver was not injured.
Police spokesman Lt. Zach Perron said on Wednesday that investigators determined Conroy was at fault for not stopping at the stop sign. In California, bicyclists are required to come to a full stop at stop signs, he said.
"It's a very unfortunate circumstance any time someone loses their life," Perron said, noting that obeying the law is what will give everyone the best chance of avoiding a collision.
"Intersections are dangerous places. Any time people are on opposing paths, there's a danger, whether a vehicle, a bicycle or a pedestrian. That's why these laws exist. Traffic safety is everyone's responsibility," he said, adding that many accidents also occur because of speeding.
Palo Alto police officers ticket bicyclists who violate the stop-sign law the same as they do when motorcyclists and drivers break the law, Perron said.