Boise & Garden City

Man’s death after motorized bike-vehicle collision is Idaho’s first cyclist fatality of 2017

A Boise cyclist who was involved in a vehicle collision last week has died, according to the Ada County Coroner.

Marvin Ott, 54, was on a motorized bicycle headed east near Milwaukee and Emerald streets in West Boise around 4:45 p.m. July 18 when the crash occurred, according to Boise Police. Ott struck his head on the concrete curb, according to the coroner’s report, and was in critical condition when he was transported to the hospital after the incident. Ott was not wearing a helmet.

The investigation into Ott’s death is still ongoing, and no citations have been issued. No other details about the incident have been released.

Ott’s death is the first cyclist fatality in Idaho this year, said Deborah Dorius, the fatality crash analyst for the state of Idaho. There were seven bicyclist fatalities in Idaho in 2016.

In 2016, there were 133 incidents involving bicycles reported in Boise. One of those incidents resulted in a fatality; 26 involved incapacitating injuries. (An incapacitating injury is defined as an injury that keeps a person from walking, driving or doing normal daily activities, according to Idaho Transportation Department officials. Read a 2016 Idaho Statesman report about serious bicycle crashes in the Treasure Valley here. )

Lisa Brady, director of the Treasure Valley Safe Routes to School Program at the YMCA and president of the Board of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, said the top safety tip she stresses with both drivers and cyclists is to be aware of their surroundings.

“That’s the key,” Brady said. “Know what’s going on. Make sure you communicate with all types of traffic.”

“Everybody has a responsibility,” Brady said. “You have to pay attention on the roadway.”

The bike lane can give cyclists a false sense of security, she said. Bike lanes are sometimes as narrow as 16 inches. A handlebar on a child’s bike is 19 inches.

Drivers also should also pay close attention at intersections to avoid possible right-hook situations. A “right-hook” happens when a driver is turning right and cuts into the path of the cyclist.