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Two bicycle-involved collisions have occurred on Main Street in the past month

Both cyclists received relatively minor injuries
A pedestrian crosses Main Street in Cortez. (Journal file photo)

Summer in Cortez means that pedestrians and cyclists are out and about enjoying the warm weather and sunny days, and two recent bicycle collisions on Main Street show the increased risk.

On May 21 about 12:30 p.m., a blue Chevrolet pickup truck collided with a bicyclist at East Main Street and Ash Street. A police report written by officer Jacob Bourdon identified the victim as Aaron Earl. The report explains that Earl had a swollen ankle and scratches to his hands, arms and legs as a result of the collision.

The Chevrolet, traveling east, failed to remain at the scene. Video footage from TireMax showed that the pickup stopped in front of Abundant Life for a moment before pulling back out and driving away, according to the report. Earl indicated that he knew the suspect driving the vehicle, but could not recall his name.

One witness to the accident told police that she believed the crosswalk signal was on when Earl crossed the street on his bicycle, but two other witnesses stated that the light was green for eastbound and westbound traffic on Main Street at the time of the collision.

Earl stated that the crosswalk signal was changing when he entered the intersection and had changed by the time he was in the middle. Video footage also showed that Earl nearly collided with another vehicle before ultimately colliding with the pickup truck.

Police identified the driver of the vehicle as Patterson Begay after an anonymous call reported that the truck was at Vista Verde Trailer Park. Begay was asleep when Bourdon tried contacting him, so another unnamed officer cited Begay for “failing to remain at the scene of an accident causing injury and failing to notify police of an accident,” the report stated.

Two bicyclists have been involved in collisions in the past month in Cortez.

Just a couple weeks later, on June 10 at just before 1 p.m., a juvenile riding a bicycle collided with a moving vehicle at East Main Street and Beech Street. The driver, Natisha Morris, was cited with careless driving causing bodily injury and operating an uninsured motor vehicle on a public roadway, according to a separate report written by Bourdon. She was not the owner of the vehicle.

Witnesses indicated that the juvenile hit his head on the windshield of the silver Toyota Prius, briefly losing consciousness. Bourdon spoke to the juvenile, who was conscious at the time and complaining of leg and head pain. He was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries.

Morris told police that she was traveling eastbound on Main Street after turning east from Chestnut. She was traveling beside a pickup with a trailer, which she observed stopping at the crosswalk at Main and Beech. She wasn’t sure why they stopped until the juvenile came around the pickup and collided with Morris. She stated that she was traveling at approximately 25 mph.

One witness said that Morris slammed on her brakes when she saw the juvenile, but couldn’t stop in time. Another witness told Bourdon that the boy was crossing the intersection at a diagonal instead of straight across.

Southwest Memorial Hospital released an injury report to police noting that the juvenile received contusions and abrasions as a result of the collision. The juvenile did receive a CAT scan to determine if there were other injuries.