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Motorists discover injured cyclist on Bonsall road

Some motorists traveling down West Lilac Road near Mountain View Road in Bonsall discovered an injured bicyclist lying in the roadway shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday, and called for emergency assistance when they observed the severity of his injuries.

Fire Captain Danny De Viso and his crew from Cal Fire's Miller Fire Station #5, located on West Lilac two miles east of Interstate 15, responded to the call and were on scene assessing the man's condition less than five minutes later.

"[The bicyclist], who appeared to be around 55 years old, was very disoriented and had suffered injuries to his head, knees and elbows," said De Viso. "He suffered lacerations to his head and his helmet was cracked."

The bicyclist told both the bystanders and the medics that he did not know what happened to cause the accident.

De Viso said it did not appear that the bicyclist had been struck by a vehicle, but just to make sure, Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers were called to survey the scene and make an assessment.

"There was no evidence that he had been hit by a vehicle," said De Viso. "There were no skid marks, no car parts, and his bicycle was unscathed, not bent in any way."

De Viso said there appeared not to be any witnesses to the accident; that when the motorists spotted him he was already on the ground.

De Viso said he called Mercy Air for an estimate on response time to transport the man to the hospital, but upon hearing it would be 23 minutes before the helicopter could arrive, a decision was made to transport the bicyclist by ground ambulance to Palomar Hospital trauma center.

"We transported him on a Code 3 basis because of our proximity to Palomar; we didn't hesitate," said De Viso. "Sometimes you have to scoop and run."

West Lilac Road is frequented by bicyclists, De Viso confirmed.

"It is very popular with bicyclists, but there is no shoulder," said De Viso. "I've worked this area for quite a while and we have responded to several bad bicycle accidents; there are fatalities every year here."

De Viso also said that while bicycling is a favorite activity of those trying to live a healthy lifestyle and that West Lilac is a scenic roadway, the mechanics of the two lane road with little shoulder doesn't make it the safest choice for riding. And although this appears to have been an accident involving the rider only, De Viso had a suggestion based on his past experiences with bicycle-related incidents on this particular roadway.

"Personally, I think they should put more signs up [telling motorists] to watch for bicyclists," he said.


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