Oak Bluffs man dies in bicycle accident
An Oak Bluffs man died Tuesday, three days after sustaining serious head injuries when he collided with a pickup truck while riding his bicycle down Skiff Avenue in Vineyard Haven on Saturday.
According to Tisbury police, Dean Bryant, 44, was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence R.I. at 7:45 am Tuesday. Police said his most recent address was in Oak Bluffs.
The accident occurred shortly after 12:45 pm on Saturday, according to Tisbury police.
Mr. Bryant had entered Skiff Avenue from Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road just behind a small Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driven by Todd Sawyer, 34, of Edgartown.
Skiff Avenue, often used as a bypass, is a two-way street through a residential neighborhood. The road winds down from Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road to Lagoon Pond Road where it ends with a stop sign abruptly after a sharp curve and steep hill. There is no posted speed limit on Skiff Avenue. State law requires a driver to drive at a “reasonable and proper” speed when there is no posted limit.
According to witness statements given to police, Mr. Bryant followed the truck down the steep road until the sharp curve just after Dunham Avenue when he pulled up alongside the driver’s side of the vehicle.
“We don’t know exactly what caused the accident, but from witnesses we believe the biker and the car got side by side in that turn. There was definitely contact between the two, but we do not know what caused the accident at this point,” said Theodore Saulnier, Tisbury police chief.
Chief Saulnier said the road was dry at the time of the accident, and there was no sand or debris in the area. He said speed could have been a factor. Mr. Bryant was riding a modern 10-speed-style road bike.
According to experienced cyclists, a rider could easily reach speeds in excess of 30 miles-per-hour down the steep hill.
“They both came off of Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road. That’s a pretty big hill all the way down to the water. You can get yourself going pretty fast going down there,” said Chief Saulnier.
Mr. Bryant was transported to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with serious head injuries. Due to foggy, overcast weather, a Coast Guard jet transported him to Rhode Island Hospital.
According to police, Mr. Bryant was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Police said no charges would be filed in the accident.
Mr. Bryant’s family could not be reached for comment.
Efforts to reach Mr. Sawyer, the driver, by telephone were also unsuccessful.