ST. GEORGE, Utah — A man was killed in St. George Tuesday after debris lodged in the front wheel of the bike he was riding on the Southern Parkway.
Bill Woodard was visiting from Washington when he went on a late morning bike ride with his friend Gordon MacFarlane.
MacFarlane told the St. George News that he and Woodard were riding westbound on State Road 7 when a vehicle pulled alongside and yelled that a rider was lying along the road. MacFarlane said he assumed his 75-year-old friend was behind him the entire time.
By the time MacFarlane reached Woodward, people who had seen him on the road were already attempting to revive him through CPR. Woodard was transported to the hospital, but never regained consciousness.
While originally thought to have had a heart attack while riding, it now appears that a piece of metal lodged in between the spokes of Woodard's front tire, causing the bike to stop abruptly and throwing him over the handlebars.
According to MacFarlane, Woodard's neck was broken and he had sustained head injuries consistent with a rider being thrown when the bike stopped suddenly.
Woodard's son told the St. George News that his father's bike helmet was damaged in a way that showed he had landed on the top of his head.
Jake Woodard said his father was an experienced bicycle rider and was a former resident of Washington City, so he was familiar with the area.
“I can’t thank the police officers, the fire department and paramedics,” he said, “and all of the bystanders who stopped and did everything they could – everything – to save my father’s life.”
The Utah Department of Transportation is investigating Woodard's crash and what role road debris played in the incident.