A 59-year-old cyclist died — according to the San Jose Mercury News — “after losing control of his bicycle and colliding into a tree on Highway 9.”
We wonder if the adjective “apparently” might be judiciously added here.
The truth is that, without eyewitness accounts, it’s impossible to say so glibly and quickly what might have happened here. Mechanical problems (bike frame failure, flat tire, equipment lockup)? Swerving to avoid an errant motorist? Pavement issues (pothole, oil)?
Why bother to ask? Because the victim was an experienced cyclist described as a “brilliant” and inventive high-energy physicist. At the time of his death, Lipson was chairman and chief technical officer of C8 MediSensors in San Jose (which a Google search reveals to be something of a mystery itself).
Normally in a transportation fatality, a situation like this would be ripe for forensics investigation. Since it’s a lone cyclist, however, we wonder if there will be any investigation at all.
UPDATE: “As of Monday, authorities did not know what caused Lipson to lose control of his road bicycle. Lipson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to CHP Officer Brandie Dressel.”