Bee Staff Reports
A Modesto man on a bicycle who was stopped in the eastbound lane of West Service Road was struck and killed by a car on Thursday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The victim was identified this morning as Fermin Duran Jr., 29, of Modesto, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office.
The CHP reported that Duran was sitting on his bike in the middle of the roadway just east of Ustick Road at 6:10 p.m.
Pedro Avalos, 22, of Modesto, was driving a GMC Suburban eastbound at an estimated speed of 65 mph. He attempted to slow in the rainy conditions but was unable to avoid Duran, the CHP said.
The CHP said it did not appear that drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.
CHP spokesman Eric Parsons said Avalos was not cited at the scene, but there is an ongoing investigation and a citation or charges could be forthcoming.
Parsons said the maximum speed in that area is 55 mph, and that’s under optimal conditions.
“With conditions being dark and rainy, the safe speed would be less than that,” Parsons said. “The officer is going to investigate the crash and the driver may be cited for that.”
He said it’s “incumbent” on drivers to drive at such a speed that if they encounter something stationary in the roadway, they are able to maneuver and avoid it. It’s especially important on country roads, he added.
Parsons said Duran, the bicycle and the car all were in close proximity to each other after the crash. He said there was damage to the front of the car, the windshield was shattered and all of the airbags deployed. There were two passengers in the car.
Parsons said the investigation could take a couple of weeks, and any recommendations for charges would be sent to the Stanislaus County.