Cyclist dies after crash

Massachusetts woman was a recent college grad raising money for multiple sclerosis.
Jessica Cuffman
Sep 24, 2013


A Massachusetts woman bicycling across the country to raise money for multiple sclerosis died when she was struck while riding in Ottawa County Monday evening.

Emilee Gagnon, 21, suffered fatal injuries during the 7:23 p.m. crash on Ohio 163, according to a news release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Gagnon is the second cyclist to die from after being struck by a vehicle this year in Ottawa County. Dale Tusen of Port Clinton was struck while cycling on Ohio 53 in July.

Gagnon was riding west, near the intersection with Nissen Road, when she was struck from behind by a 2001 Ford Escape driven by Lynne Smith, 49, of Martin,

Gagnon was thrown from her bicycle. She was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Smith told troopers she was adjusting her sun visor because of the glare from the sun when she struck the cyclist.

Gagnon had recently graduated from Westfield State University and was riding from Holliston, Mass., to San Francisco and raising money for multiple sclerosis, according to the news release from the patrol.

Troopers shut down Ohio 163 for about four hours Monday night while they investigated the crash.



So sad...Thoughts and prayers to this young ladies family.


So sad...Thoughts and prayers to this young ladies family.

Simple Enough II

Such a shame.

Simple Enough II

Doesn't it seem a bit unsual for a cross country bike ride this late in the year?

Señor Clown

That is a terrible location to be riding, particularly into the setting sun. The highway doesn't have a shoulder large enough to allow a cyclist to stay clear of the lane of travel, so you're relying on motorists to be able to see and avoid you, which is all but impossible when the sun is between the horizon and the bottom of the visor. I feel awful for the driver of the car.

Licorice Schtick

Tsk, tsk. How sad for the careless driver who killed a cyclist by obviously violating ACD (ORC 4511.21(A)). What and inconvenience. Will ruin her whole day. Probably. Lucky for her, there's a good chance she won't even get a ticket.

Seriously, folks, the law is clear - If you can't see, you can't go! Why do people have so much trouble understanding that?


Sad story. Drivers are required to have control of their vehicles at all times. If fog, rain, snow, ice or sun glare affect vision then SLOW DOWN please.
"To prevent sun glare from becoming a hazard when you're driving, consider these safety tips"

To those who drive with those handicap placards attached to the rear-view mirrors: Please take them down as they do cause a blind spot. Those placards should only be hung on the mirror when the vehicle is parked.

My condolences to the family of this young woman. Old saying is that bad things happen to good people.


I don't understand your reference to the above law. What does this accident and the conditions that contributed to it happening have to do with speed limits? I see nothing in the article that says she was speeding.

Are you even familiar with the intersection and surrounding terrain?

As mentioned by another writer, the berm is narrow and as you crest the slight hill the angle of the sun can suddenly blind you making it difficult to see what is in your path.

Licorice Schtick

She claims she was blinded. She kept going. That's stupid, unsafe, and illegal.

If you can't see what's ahead, you gotta stop. This is not terribly difficult to understand, but it's a little counterintuitive for some, so it takes some motivation and thought.

Read the law until you understand it. I'll make it easy -

"... no person shall drive ... at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead."

That clearly means that If for any reason it comes to pass that you can no long see ahead into the distance needed to stop, YOU CAN'T JUST KEEP GOING. You must immediately slow down, until you can. It also clearly means that if, for any reason, you are blinded to the way ahead, you must immediately stop.

So, again, read it and understand it. The life you save might be some else's.


Feel sorry for the driver ? What about the woman that was killed and her family ? The woman that killed her still gets to see her family and live life everyday. Hopefully charges are forthcoming.


I feel sorry for the driver, too


You would


and I do


I will give you a prize if you want it

Licorice Schtick

For the record, I do, too. But I feel a lot sorrier for all the victims, future and present, suffering from preventable accidents because drivers are too self-absorbed to be inconvenienced by learning how to make their driving less dangerous to others, and by a system that fails to train drivers to be safer, because self-absorbed drivers won't tolerate being inconvenienced by training, either. See also, "distracted driving."

From the Grave





If this were a Bike Weakling killed then the SR commentators would be demanding life without parole for the driver.


What does that even mean?


This is a very sad story. As a person with MS. I would like to let this girls family know that I appreciate what she set out to do. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

2cents's picture

My god people, two families lives have been changed forever, STOP IT!

From the Grave

If we didn't believe so strongly(and erroneously)that death is bad, and the end of everything, then we'd focus more on living above ground.

thinkagain's picture

tru dat


Everybody runs into sun glare - how can you stop it? Are all those drivers going to pull over? You mean to tell me, that bicyclists aren't effected by it? You can reduce it some but not totally eliminate it.

It bounces off of other vehicles in front of you or off your own hood. you know what's really bad?

When it bounces off chrome and silver cars. Same thing with the newer headlights and lightbars.

I've been saying for years the newer headlights and such are way too blinding.

I feel sorry for the lady who was killed and yes, I feel sorry for the lady who hit her. That could have happened to anyone of us, simply because this was not an intentional act.

People who ride bikes need to be more careful out there, too. It's really a shame there wasn't some kind of bike route to use up that way - or is there?


@sandusksquach.....did your wife run off with a biker or are your legs to short to touch the ground


Did they check her phone records?