A pickup collided south of Montreal with a group of six triathletes riding to a training event, killing three. One headline called the accident “incomprehensible,” but anyone who rides extensively knows it’s hardly that.
Far from incomprehensible, tragedies like this usually involve substance abuse, or road rage, or driver error. These were experienced cyclists riding together, not a solo rider who may not have known what he or she was doing.
It’s possible that the cyclists initiated the accident. Perhaps they got tangled up and crashed and the motorist couldn’t avoid them. Coverage mentions an unpaved shoulder along the route.
But in most cases, if cyclists were to blame, the driver would’ve pointed the finger at them right from the start, and so far none of the coverage has suggested that.
What does set this incident apart is that the driver was a volunteer fire fighter who gave first aid at the scene.
Alcohol was not involved, police said.
It would appear, given the humanitarian actions of the driver, that road rage was not involved.
That means something went tragically wrong. Hopefully we’ll find out exactly what. Police investigations often take months and get forgotten in the process.
One good thing: At least they did not all die. That means we’ll have someone else’s version of the accident than the driver’s.
Meanwhile, in England an unrepentant road rager faces at least 13 years in jail for mowing down a cyclist and then saying he was more concerned about damage to his car than the death of a rider.