Posted: Nov 20, 2009 5:45 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2009 5:49 PM
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) – There’s a search for answers after the death of a bicyclist who collided with a San Diego police cruiser earlier this month. Police conducted a reenactment today near where the crash happened, but still insist it was an unfortunate accident.
On Nov. 9, a routine morning ride for avid cyclist Walter Freeman would turn out to be his last, less than a half-mile from his University City home.
Investigators say the 63-year-old pedaled out of a gas station in the 3800 block of Governor Drive just before 7:30 a.m. Moments later, the semi-retired engineer crossed the southbound side of the roadway and ended up directly in the path of a San Diego police cruiser, which was traveling southbound in the far left lane.
The officer, who was driving under the posted speed limit according to authorities, was not injured. The expert cyclist, who was wearing a protective helmet, died at the scene.
With the help of the CHP’s multi-disciplinary accident investigation team, San Diego police traffic detectives are trying to figure out how the incident happened.
“We’re grateful to have them [CHP] here. We understand they’re very fine investigators,” Sgt. Leonard Flake of the SDPD traffic division said.
In addition to stopping distance tests using a cruiser similar to the one in the accident, they also brought a bicycle to the scene to try and trace Walter Freeman’s path. But there’s a lot more being examined that will try to shed transparency into what occurred.
“Using the physical evidence, performing control testing to try and get reliable variables that we can use and math and physics equations to reconstruct the traffic collision scene,” CHP accident investigator Eric Nicholas said.
The CHP says it could take three months or longer to put together a full report on their findings.
“If our numbers match with the San Diego Police Department, that’s great. But if our numbers are different, then at least we have an independent, outside agency looking at the collision,” Nicholas said.
News 8 tried to get reaction to the re-enactment from Walter Freeman’s family but they declined, saying they are still just too distraught to speak about the accident.