While most were celebrating Thanksgiving and enjoying the holidays, friends and loved ones of two local cyclists were mourning their deaths.
On Thanksgiving night, at about 11:00 p.m., Troy Stogner was fatally struck while riding his bicycle. He was traveling westbound in the 6900 block of the feeder road of the East Freeway near Channelview. He was evidently hit by a westbound red pickup truck or SUV. The driver did not stop. Mr. Stogner was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver is now wanted on charges of failure to stop and render aid.
On Saturday morning, Michael Deluke, a 29-year-old gymnastics coach, was killed as he was heading to work. The wreck occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on FM 1488, close to the intersection of Pin Oak Drive in Conroe. Mr. Deluke was reportedly headed east on the shoulder of FM 1488. As he looked over his shoulder, he was hit by a pickup truck. The driver of the truck was going about 50 mph, according to an estimate, and was not suspected of intoxication. Though Mr. Deluke was rushed to Memorial Hermann in the The Woodlands, health care professionals could not save his life, and he was there pronounced dead.
These terrible incidents serve as a grim reminder to motorists and bicycle riders alike of the importance for safety when cars and trucks approach bicycles. Without any protection other than a helmet, and usually traveling much slower than motor vehicles, bicycle riders are vulnerable to serious injury or death in the event of a collision. All concerned need to exercise vigilance to avoid any crash.