Bicyclist dies in Point Breeze hit-and-run


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Pittsburgh police are searching for a white vehicle that fatally struck a bicyclist in Point Breeze this morning and drove away.

Both the vehicle and the cyclist, 46-year-old James Price of Homewood, were headed inbound in the 7400 block of Penn Avenue just after 5 a.m.

PG VIDEO

Mr. Price was wearing a helmet when the vehicle hit him. He was thrown about 6 feet from the mangled black bicycle, landing on the sidewalk near the steps of a nearby home, Sgt. James Vogel of the Zone 4 station in Squirrel Hill said.

Police search for a vehicle in fatal hit-and-run

Police are searching for a vehicle that fatally struck a bicyclist in Point Breeze and sped away. Both the vehicle and the cyclist, James Price, 46, of Homewood, were headed inbound in the 7400 block of Penn Avenue. (Video by Darrell Sapp; 7/25/2012)

Officers and paramedics did "all first-aid that would be reasonable and appropriate and more," but the man died about 5:30 a.m. at UPMC Presbyterian.

A witness spotted the car heading toward East Liberty at about 60 miles per hour, Sgt. Vogel said. The witness, a fellow driver, could not describe the vehicle beyond its white color, but the sergeant said it likely has front-end damage.

He urged anyone with information on the suspect to call homicide detectives at 412-323-7800.

Police said they are following up on several leads in the case. But such investigations typically take months to unfold, even when police know the identity of the driver.

Mr. Price was an avid cyclist, and Penn Avenue was one of his regular routes, relatives said.

"He was going on a positive path," said his niece, Briana Jackson, whom he was encouraging to ride.

The father of an 11-year-old daughter, he had gotten in shape over the last two years by riding several times a day. She said the diet and exercise helped alleviate his diabetes.

Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh, said Mr. Price's death underscores the dangers cyclists face daily riding on the city's roads.

Though cyclists, pedestrians and drivers have a duty to share the road, "it's not equal ... A motorist at the wheel of a 4,000- or 5,000-pound vehicle going 35 to 55 miles per hour has the ability to kill or maim another human."

He pointed to other troubling recent cases, such as that of Dan Yablonsky, the cyclist who was seriously wounded and continues to recover after being struck in a hit-and-run on Liberty Avenue in Lawrenceville in May.

There have been no arrests in that case.

Such hit-and-runs, he added, are "unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated."

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Sadie Gurman: sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. First Published July 25, 2012 11:30 AM


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