Garrett Hardy was riding with a group when a pickup driver ran into him; Hardy later died on his way to the hospital
A teenage bicyclist was killed Sunday during a ride in Waller County, which Prairie View Police said Wednesday remained under investigation.
Garrett Hardy, 19, was struck around 10:15 a.m. Sunday as he rode with other cyclists eastbound along the 44500 block of U. S. 290 Business, also known as Old 290. The spot, south of U. S. 290 near University Drive, is steps from Prairie View City Hall.
Old 290 is a popular riding spot for cyclists, and also a sometimes crowded five-lane road with a speed limit of 50 mph in some areas and 55 mph in others.
According to witnesses, Hardy was riding with his mother and was struck by the pickup’s passenger side as the driver headed eastbound. His mother, a nurse, attempted to render aid. He was taken by helicopter from the crash scene, but died en route to a local hospital.
The driver of the pickup stopped, Prairie View Police Chief Anthony Solomon said.
“We do not have any reason to file any charges,” Solomon said, saying officials are waiting for schematics of the accident scene and other details before closing the investigation.
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Cycling advocates and friends of Hardy have said visibility in the area and the bright clothes he was wearing should have made him visible to any drivers.
The incident also alarmed some because of previous issues between law enforcement and cyclists in Waller County.
In March 2016, cyclists were upset when the Waller County Sheriff’s Office cited more than 20 cyclists – and a local constable ticketed as many as 10 others – during one of the Houston area’s largest and oldest bike rides, the Bluebonnet Express. Citations were given, police said at the time, only to cyclists operating outside the bounds of the event.
Waller County deputies also were informed they could not work off-duty providing safety for bicycle races and events.
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Law enforcement said the decisions were made in the interest of public safety, though cyclists called them an unfair response to their right to legally use the roads.
Hardy’s death occurred less than nine months after another fatal collision between a driver and group of cyclists. Two riders were killed and another severely injured in March when a driver careened into them as they rode in Brookshire.
Victor Kevin Tome, 25, was driving north on Buller in Waller County when he crashed into a group on a training ride, killing 48-year-old Keri Blanchard Guillory. Less than 100 yards later, he collided with 37-year-old Craig Randall Tippit. Both riders died.
Tome fled to a nearby house, but was apprehended. Waller County prosecutors charged him with two counts of murder, as well as burglary and aggravated assault that resulted in serious bodily injury.