intersection light: left turn signalA 58-year-old cyclist from Murray, described by those who knew him as a great guy, died from injuries sustained from a collision with a minivan. It was reported that Craig Buchi was riding southbound on 700 East at 8:11 p.m. Sunday when the minivan made a left turn in front of him at 8275 South.

Sandy police Sgt. Jon Arnold stated that Buchi crashed into the rear passenger side of the van and died from his extensive injuries a short time later at Alta View Hospital.

As of Monday, the incident was still being investigated to determine whether the driver of the minivan will be charged for the accident.

Police authorities said that Buchi was wearing spandex cycling clothing and a helmet at the time of the crash. The road condition during the time of the crash was described as dark and it was not known if Buchi’s bicycle was equipped with lights and whether the lights were working.

The report disclosed that the case will be screened by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office.

Craig Buchi, was described by his son’s girlfriend, Carlyn Johnson as a person who started cycling seven years ago to lose weight. Buchi succeeded in his goal of weight management but continued to pursue cycling because he had fallen in love with it. His son, Teal Buchi is also into cycling and the two of them would often ride together.

Johnson said that Buchi rode nearly every day through the same route on his specialized bike, which was equipped with saddle bags and a tool kit.

Craig Buchi was a well-known Utah competitive road racer and a member of the FFKR Architects Velosport Racing team, which last competed in the April 25, 2013 Criterium Emigration Hill Climb.

Velosport team manager Travis Horton said the Buchi sponsored the team through his Salt Lake auto repair business known as “Craig’s Service Center”. This service center is a family owned business that started in 1995.  Buchi also actively supports the team’s youth cycling programs.

The cycling community mourns this loss. Buchi was described by those who knew him from school as a great football player and popular with the crowd. He was an all-around great guy and a great mechanic whose passion for sports was expressed through giving support to high school athletic teams.

An article posted June 2012, talked about Salt Lake City pushing for bike safety as more bicyclists are expected to be on the road. The article described that cyclists often have close encounters with cars because they are miscalculating the speed of the bike. Because they think the bike is going slower then them, cars often cute the bikes off at intersections, where an estimated 89% of all crashes involving cars and bikes happen. Both motorists and bikers should learn how to share the road and Quinn-Hurst says, “you wouldn’t expect this, but accidents will decrease overall when there are more cyclists on the road”.

It was also reported in that article that a website named was launched to provide bicyclists with routes and safety tips.  From this website, you can learn that 2013 was declared as the “year of the bike”. The aim of the program was to encourage the use of bikes on the roads in the Salt Lake area. This declaration is also aimed to recognize and promote the many bicycle events, programs, and infrastructure projects happening in the Salt Lake region in the coming year. The hope is to have safer roads for bikers in the coming years.

Image courtesy of Benny Mazur