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Deaf & Blind Bicyclist Injured

August 22, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Deaf & Blind Bicyclist Injured

It's happened again, another bicyclist was hit by a car today in Sioux Falls. Only this time, the driver of the vehicle hit a tandem bike; injuring two people, one of whom is both deaf and blind.

At 10 a.m., near the intersection of Marion Road and Madison Street, a 70-year-old driver hit a tandem bike from behind.

"It doesn't appear speed or alcohol are factors, it just appears that the driver didn't see the bicyclists and came up on them and struck them," Lt. Troy Lubbers said from the Sioux Falls Police Department.

The most seriously injured bicyclist is 71-year-old Harald Vik of Norway, the passenger on the tandem bike, who is both deaf and blind.

Police say his pelvis was broken, and he has injuries to his left arm and left leg. 

Despite his disabilities, friends say Vik is an avid outdoorsman.

"Biking is one of Harald's favorite activities, besides skiing and running," Ivar Wigaar said.

Vik and his friends were biking from Minneapolis to Lincoln, Nebraska where they planned to meet up with relatives. It's a trip he's completed many times in the past.

Though the accident is still under investigation, police and cyclists say it's another reminder for both everyone to share the road, respectfully.

"Motorists just need to be aware that bicyclists are on the roads and that bicyclists have every right to be on the roadway and we have to be aware and give them that distance, that space," Lubbers said.

"So my appeal to the car drivers here, take care of the bicyclists, because none of this benefits what they have doing now," Wiggar said.

Vik was also planning to run in his 21st New York City Marathon in November, but now that likely won't happen. Police say the crash will be reconstructed and any possible charges will be determined after the investigation is complete.

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