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Bicyclist struck and killed near Bozeman

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:12:09 AM MDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2014 10:32:18 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Bozeman Police have yet to identify the man who died while riding his bike on Frontage Road early this morning, but the investigation continues into what happened before he died.

NBC Montana was told the bicyclist swerved in front of a semi truck here on the Frontage Road near Reeves Road on the north side of town.

Police say the semi truck driver did not have time to get out of the way, before hitting the man.

Bozeman resident Rocky White drives to work on the Frontage Road every morning.

On Wednesday, Rocky saw a man on his bike on the side of the road. He said he remembers it because he noticed the man's behavior.

"His bike was parked there and he was dragging stuff out of a bag and throwing it and tossing it randomly," White explained. "I thought it was really strange."

Rocky later found out, that less than five minutes after he saw the man, a bicyclist died after being hit by a semi truck on the same stretch of road.

"I don't know what to think about that," he said. "It kind of shocks you is what it does."

The Bozeman Police Department said the skid marks tell the story of what happened on Wednesday morning. The bicyclist likely swerved into the road to avoid something in the road or to turn around, and the semi truck driver just couldn't get out of the way in time.

Sergeant Travis Munter responded to the crash, at around 6:30 am. He said the bicyclist, who was in his 40s, was taken to Bozeman Deaconess, but ultimately died.

He explained this crash shows just how dangerous Frontage Road can be for bicyclists, because of the narrow shoulder, and high speed limit.

"If you're going to ride your bicycle on this road, you've got to be super careful or maybe think of a different route into town," Sgt. Munter said.

Rocky said he's rattled by the fact that he may have seen the man just minutes before his death, and puzzled by what he witnessed on Frontage Road.

"He looked like he was kind of disillusioned, and I've never seen anybody do anything quite like that before," White said.

The semi truck driver was not injured, and will not be charged in the crash.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.