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UPDATED: 2 Cyclists Airlifted After Kinnelon Crash

Police: Bicyclists' speed may have been a factor in accident on Fayson Lakes Road.

Two male bicyclists were airlifted to the hospital Saturday morning after they rode into oncoming traffic on Fayson Lakes Road, Kinnelon Police said.

According to Sgt. Joe Fidducia, one victim had a head injury and the other sustained a hip injury in the accident, which occurred at about 10 a.m. Both also may have sustained internal injuries, Fidducia said.

The identities and ages of the victims were not immediately released.

Fidducia said the driver of the vehicle, identified only as a male, struck one of the bicyclists, while the other victim hit the guardrail close to a sharp curve near 38 Fayson Lakes Road.

The driver was not injured, was not speeding and did not receive a summons, Fidducia said.

The bicyclists' speed may have been a factor, Fidducia said.

"They took the turn too wide, and they went into oncoming traffic," Fidducia said.

The bicyclists were transported by the TriBoro First Aid Squad, while and Chilton Hospital paramedics were also on the scene.

Each of the victims were transported to where they were airlifted in separate medevacs to Morristown Hospital, Fidducia said.

Fayson Lakes Road was re-opened at about 11 a.m.

Patch will continue to update this story.

talia March 17, 2012 at 05:43 PM
This isn't the first accident of this kind, a few years ago an eye surgeon was left paralyzed from the same type of accident. Since moving here many years ago, it is within the past couple years that I've noticed a substantial increase in bicyclists-especially on Fayson. I agree the natural beauty might be the draw, but how much do you see racing down the road, it might be due to the topography and challenge to the riders. I don't know if it's due to an increase in popularity of the sport, population in this area, or from the signs, but I agree, the signs need to come down and cycling should be discouraged on this stretch of our roads. It wasn't just three lives affected today, but how many family members ?
Richard Dean March 17, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The bicyclists think they own the road where those bike route signs are posted, and maybe they do as per some officials. A lot of them pass through Butler on Kiel Avenue (the same CR 618 as Kinnelon Road) and Boonton Avenue (the same CR 511 as Boonton Avenue in Kinnelon, where they think it's still a bike route but those routes start and end at the Kinnelon Borough line which for Boonton Avenue is at Cutlass Road, a half mile south of Route 23 and for Kinnelon Road at Route 23.
Zoo Keeper March 17, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Probably due to the price of gas. And, they don't ride single file but two, three and more abreast. These roads are not for bikers, especially since there is no real shoulders on any of them.
Zoo Keeper March 17, 2012 at 08:39 PM
First we should ask, how many accidents involving cars and bikes have occured on both kinnelon Road , Boonton Ave and Fayson Lakes road. Then we should ask, when was the ordinance adopted and specifically, what does it say. Maybe a bike safety program shuld be given in both Kinnelon and butler to advise bikers what exactly the laws are regarding traffic, cars and bikers on the roadways. The accident was unfortunate and I do hope that all involved will be fine.
Sid March 17, 2012 at 09:51 PM
If I remember correctly the town was given a grant of $180,000 for the bike route - they put up signs and then used most of the money for lights by the Munic building. (that's the way I remember it - could be wrong). Whatever - putting up those signs was completely irresponsible and opens of the town to a massive law suit sooner or later.
selmer March 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Oh, and a couple years ago there was an accident between a school bus and a cyclist-in the same spot! Again, the cyclist took the turn too wide and ran into the bus, I think it was to avoid the storm drain.
laidbackluke March 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
this has to be a wakeup call to the town! how many more accidents are you going to let happen? just don't let the bicyclists on fayson lakes road anymore, its way to dangerous! they are nothing but a huge problem that keeps growing because they think they own the roads when they dont! theyre morons if you ask me to even put themselves in danger and then have something like this happen. purely they're fault and its time the town does something like take down the stupid bike route signs and keep the bicyclists off of our roads before it gets to the point where lives are lost.
Zoo Keeper March 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Maybe after someone gets killed and the town sued then they will act. Kinnelon should act now to prevent another incident.
Louis Spataro March 19, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Maybe drivers and bikers both need to be more courteous on the road and both slow down some, as far as the signs, bikers will use these roads with or without the signs so taking them down serves no purpose. the Kinnelon roads are pretty and challenging, that's what attracts the bikes, not the signs.
Rodger Pisani March 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM
So, as one of the so-called 'Morons', I feel the need to respond to all the negative comments. We live in one of the most beautiful areas of North Jersey and, even though the roads are tight, they are great roads to ride -- scenic, challenging and LOTS of fun! Most cyclist don't think they "own the road" (there are some.. unfortunately), and ALL of the people I ride with purposely obey the rules of the road, ride single file and try to be as safe as possible so as not to anger the motorists (they've got much bigger vehicles than we do!!). There are times, however, that a cyclist needs to "take the road"... Pot holes, storm sewers, road construction... etc. etc., but that doesn't mean we think we own the road. Just because there was a terrible accident, it doesn't mean cyclists should, or can, be banned from the road, as much as when an automobile accident occurs you don't ban cars from the road. I believe the signs were put up more to inform the motorist of the cyclists, than to attract cyclist to these roads - with the hope of fostering the "share-the-road" theme! If the signs were to be taken down it wouldn’t stop most of us from riding there. Bottom line is, 2 people were seriously injured… probably because they were having a little too much fun and going a bit too fast for such a tight corner, NOT because they thought they owned the road!!
Zoo Keeper March 19, 2012 at 02:52 PM
In my opinion, Kinnelon SHOULD install/erect a proper bike lane. If the figure is correct, what happened to the $180,000 that was earmarked for that purpose? I'm sure that the bike signs didn't cost that much. It only make sense to have a proper bike land as is the case in Riveerdale and if so, we wouldnd be having this conversation and there wourldn't have been a accident .
Rodger Pisani March 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Well said!!!
Janet March 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
The FL Road will not be widened and nothing will deter the cyclists from using it. Maybe another solution is rumble strips or a speed bump in the more dangerous areas of the Rd. it would force both cyclists AND drivers to slow down.
jeremy doppelt March 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I live in the area and ride FL road all the time. The anti-biker vitriol is really off base. The vast majority of riders obey the rules of the road and stay to the right, where possible. The turn where the accident occured can be dangerous for bikers not becasue we think we own the road but because the road turns sharply to the right as it descends. Unless a rider knows the turn that is coming, he or she can easily drift accross the middle of the road while negotaiting the turn without intending to do so which is what apparently happened here. A sign here warning of the descent and turn would be helpful. The roads are wide enough for bikes and cars. There is no need for the anti-biker bile that has been spewed.
Michelle March 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Fayson Lakes Road is a dangerous road for all. Too many twists and turns. Bottom line, just be aware of your surroundings and be as safe as you possible can.
Zoo Keeper March 19, 2012 at 07:59 PM
ILLELGAL Butler wanted speed bumps on Myrtle Ave , the road heading from downtown to Lowes. Couldn't be done. So, they erected a stop sign in the middle of the black at a dead end road???
Zoo Keeper March 19, 2012 at 08:02 PM
How about a bike safety coarse for both bikers and motorists to alert all to the hazards of the roadway they plan on traveling. I still say on Kinnelon Road and Boonton Ave Kinnelon should install the proper bike lanes, they had the money, where did it go? Also, the police should hand out flyers giving the rules of the road for bikers to bikers.
Cyndi Steiner March 19, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Cyclists are allowed on all roads in NJ regardless of whether or not they are marked. In addition, cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast on any road in NJ as long as they are not impeding traffic. To make a claim that cyclist act like they own the road implies that car drivers never behave that way. With the new Complete Streets laws going into effect, car drivers will need to be more on the alert, as CS supports the use of roads for all users, bicyclists and pedestrians as well as automobiles. This crash occurred on a section of FL road where there is no marked center line. Exactly which party is at fault would appear to be difficult to judge, but having ridden through here many times myself, it is just as likely that the car traveled across the middle of the lane in this curve as it is likely that the cyclists did.
Zoo Keeper March 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Both Kinnelon and Morris county should look into this situation and do somethin NOW. If the road needs to be striped, they do so, if new caustion signs need to be in place do it NOW. On both Boonton Ave and Kinnelon Roads, there needs to be a bike lane, as I have stated previously, where did the money go for this purpose? I would strongly suggest that both bikes and motorists attend the next Kinnelon Boro Council meeting and ask questions and hopefully get some answers. Finger pointing and assumptions won't solve this issue.
Ron H. March 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Here's another moron cyclist's 2 cents. I ride the local roads quite often. I make every attempt to ride safely whenever and wherever I am on my bike. Just because 2 cyclists were hit doesn't mean we need to be banned from Kinnelon or any other town because we're cyclists. I don't just ride through your town I also support the local businesses. I love riding these roads because I get to see things at 15 MPH that I miss at 40 MPH and exercise all at the same time. I wear bright clothes, have blinking lights, stay to the right and motor vehicle drivers still try to see how close they can get their mirror to my shoulder. I'm sure you wouldn't think of banning those people from your community. There are good and bad drivers and cyclists wherever you go. How about drivers (I'm one of those also) try to learn what the sport and safety of cycling is all about. Maybe some knowledge and courtesy might just save a life. It might be mine or maybe even one of your relatives. I know the curve where the accident happened and avoid it at all costs. I hope the cyclists and the driver of the car are O.K. after this horrifying incident.
Zoo Keeper March 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM
http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/regulations.shtm
laidbackluke March 20, 2012 at 07:04 PM
two cyclists werent hit...a car was hit by two cyclists for your information. also, wearing bright clothes and having blinking lights doesnt solve the problem of bicyclists riding in the middle of roads taking up the whole thing and not taking cars into consideration.
Patch Black March 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Agreed!!
Richard Dean March 20, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Perhaps installation of rumble strips on FLR woulld be a good idea. Anyone who says that they are illegal need only take a spin north on NJ 23 in West Milford in the area of the curve by the old garbage incinerator just prior to Germantown Road because NJDOT installed them there last week.
Bob Vey March 29, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Fayson Lakes Road is very narrow at that point & is also narrow on a few curves. People should walk, or ride bikes in single file. I see many people walking, or riding 2 abreast while they talk. I have seen mothers or babysitters, pushing strollers 2 abreast on the curve near "A Taste of Reality" while talking; they almost got hit as 2 cars were on the curve. People have a false sense of security because F.L.R. is a "designated bike path", or they live in F.L. and feel they can walk & are 100% safe. WRONG!!! Accidents happen all the time. Iam sure the 2 bike riders did not expect to get into an accident on a nice sunny day, but unfortunately they did. Don't walk or ride on F.L.R. & if you "have to" do so in single file & don't wear headphones & watch the cars; especially around "sunset" when the sun can be in the drivers eyes & be ready to jump just in case.
snowmom March 30, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I am sorry that people were hurt. This narrow winding road is simply NOT safe to walk or bike on with cars. I taught my daughter to drive on this road and it is a frightening experience for a young driver to pass two bicyclists with an oncoming vehicle to judge, narrow shoulders and the tight turns and twists. This road should be avoided, I hate to say!
Nate Morgenstern April 03, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Certainly, everyone is entitled to their opinion; however, presenting such as fact is misleading. Many here have made statements regarding the accident which involved two cyclists and a vehicle, without having been present. Much is either conjecture or, at best, second or third hand information. I'll hopefully remedy that with firsthand observations. There were five cyclists riding single file approaching the curve in question. I was the fifth in line at the time. All five were to the right of the double yellow line. As the lead rider entered the curve he likely saw what I saw--that the approaching car was slightly into our lane. Note, there is no center line for at least 40 yards in the apex of the curve. The lead rider recognized a dangerous situation and attempted to slow down to allow him to move further to the right and out of harm's way. Unfortunately, when he braked, his rear tire lost traction on the slightly damp pavement and inertia moved him to the left. Slowing and moving left resulted in contact with the second rider in line. Once contact was made, steering was compromised. Fortunately, the Honda driver angled his vehicle to the right and braked, which lessened the combined force of impact. Note: The position of the vehicle and orientation of its front wheels after impact confirmed that it had been across the imaginary mid-line of the road. --Continued--
Nate Morgenstern April 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I'm unclear as to why tickets were issued to the cyclists, as they broke no laws. I provided a written witness statement on site. Recognize that bicycles are considered vehicles, and therefore are subject to the laws and priveleges of other vehicles. Under specified conditions, such as for safety, a cyclist is entitled to take the lane. A motor vehicle operator approaching from the rear is required to wait until it is safe to pass, rather than honking and speeding around the cyclist on a curve or climbing a hill when unable to see if a car is approaching from the other side of the hill. That didn't occur on that day, yet has happened there and happens quite often in northern NJ. Groups riding more than two abreast do lack consideration, and even two abreast resulting in traffic being impeded is illegal. But, keep in mind, that a single rider has the right to ride in the center of the lane if he/she is at risk riding at the right with cars passing in the same lane because the car driver is impatient and is unable to use the oncoming lane due to approaching traffic.
Nate Morgenstern April 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Whether or not bike route signs exist, the roads are available to cyclists. The signs are more for auto drivers to recognize the liklihood of cyclists. Taking them down would likely put the town at greater risk of liability. Introducing speed bumps or rumble strips, which could cause loss of control on the part of cyclists would also create a liability situation. Dangerous Curve Ahead signs and yellow/black chevron signs approaching and into the curve, I believe are better options. As a final note, only one broken rib was sustained by the leading cyclist, as well as a few significant contusions and a laceration at the corner of an eye. Both are recovering well.
Zoo Keeper April 03, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Do all roads in New Jersey have "bike route" signs? Do cyclists still use those roadways? Wasn't the original purpose of the grant that Kinnelon received was to install PROPER bikes routes and not just erect signs? What do you do when you cycle on the roadways where there are NO signs, then , you come upon a sign that states BIKE ROUTE STARTS and then you travel down the road and all of a sudden you come upon a sign that stes BIKE ROUTE ENDS? This is true on Boonton Ave heading towards Montville/Boonton. As soon as you reach the Montville border, the signs stop. Anyone with half a notion knows that cyclists are on those roads (Kinnelon, Fayson Lakes and Boonton Ave) As I have mentioned previously, Kinnelon WAKE UP, install the proper bike routes and don't use the money for other purposes as it has been suggested. Both drivers and cyclists should know the rules of the road and follow them. I have seen many cyclists doing whatever they please . And, as far as the tickets go, they went over the line in the center of the road, which in my estimation is an infraction of the law.

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