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Meridian Bicyclist Kevin Pavlis Dies From Injuries

The Idaho Statesman: Meridian Bicyclist Kevin Pavlis Dies From Injuries After Being Struck By SUV

 Members of the Boise biking community said Friday morning they are “rattled” and “devastated” over the death of local bicycling enthusiast Kevin Pavlis from injuries he sustained after being hit by a teenager driving an SUV on Hill Road the night before.

Pavlis died early Friday morning from injuries he sustained after getting hit Thursday evening by an SUV on Hill Road.

The 37-year-old Pavlis, who worked at Idaho Mountain Touring for over a decade and was a current member of the local Lactic Acid Cycling Race Team, was traveling with a group of other cyclists on a social ride headed east on Hill Road about 7:44 p.m. Thursday when he got hit by the SUV, according to Boise police reports.

“Everybody is just devastated ... it’s kind of like a big extended family here, and Kevin was a huge part of our family - and the whole Boise community,” said Chris Haunold, the owner of Idaho Mountain Touring Friday morning. “He really loved cycling. This isn’t an industry you get rich in. He was really passionate about it. “These guys did everything right ... this (fatal crash) is scary and shocking.”

Haunold said he was with Pavlis Thursday at a trade show in Salt Lake City and the group hurried back to Boise that night so Pavlis could take a rep from the Camelbak company on a “social ride” he set up with other members of the Lactic Acid cycling team.

By the time Haunold and Pavlis got back to Boise, Pavlis didn’t have time to grab his road bike from home, so he used his mountain bike instead.

The plan was to take a fun ride along the Hill Road corridor between Boise and Eagle and meet at the Falcon Tavern when it was over.

The cycling group was on its way back to Downtown Boise and had gotten stretched out to the point where when Pavlis and another member of the group were ahead of the pack.

That’s when Pavlis was hit. All witnesses say Pavlis and another cyclist riding with him were both in the designated bike lane on Hill Road when the teen driver of the SUV tried to make a left turn on to Smith Avenue and drove right in the path of Pavlis.

His fellow biker, a doctor, was a few feet behind Pavlis and managed to avoid the collision. That doctor performed emergency CPR and other life saving techniques on Pavlis before paramedics arrived and took him to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

Pavlis, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead just after 3 a.m. Friday.

Ada County Corner Erwin Sonnenberg has ruled the death an accident and listed cause of death Friday morning as blunt force trauma.

Hours later, word spread through the Boise cycling community about the crash.

Pavlis had just taken up road racing with Lactic Acid Cycling Race team but had been both a road bike and mountain bike enthusiast for years, Haunold said.

Pavlis had been featured in at least one story in The Idaho Statesman on mountain biking and was well known in the Boise community for having worked at Idaho Mountain Touring for almost 11 years.

Thursday’s crash is still under investigation and no charges had been filed by Friday morning.

Boise Police Lt. Bryan Hagler called the collision "tragic" Thursday night.

"I wish there was a magic piece of advice to give to prevent these tragedies," Hagler said. "We have to share the roadway and we have to watch out for each other."

Pavlis is listed as a 2009 Lactic Acid Cycling Race Team member — a Boise-based cycling team that competes in regional and local competitions.

Thursday’s fatal collision was the third such car vs. bike crash in Boise in less than a month, although the circumstances of all the crashes were different.

Boise police haven’t charged any of the three drivers as of Friday morning.

Jim Lee Chu of Eagle died May 21, two days after the 55-year-old was hit by a ValleyRide van on Orchard Street south of Interstate 84.

Thomas D. Bettger, 62, of Boise, also died May 21 — just hours after he was hit by a Dodge Neon at Milwaukee and Emerald streets at 7:45 p.m.

All three bicyclists were wearing helmets.

Other cycling fatalities in Ada County.

Before May 21, there had been four fatal car vs. bike accidents in Ada County since 2003 — including two in 2007 — according to Idaho Transportation Department statistics.

There were 805 cyclists injured in car vs. bike accidents in Ada County from 2003 to 2008.

Dangerous intersections

These had the most bicycle vs. car crashes from 2003 to 2007:

• Fairview Avenue at Orchard Street (nine)

• Fairview at Milwaukee Street (eight)

• Cole Road at Fairview, Cole at Ustick Road, and Cloverdale Road at McMillan Road (seven each) Patrick Orr: 373-6619

Patrick Orr: 373-6619