Denair bicyclist killed in accident outside of Turlock

A 30-year-old Denair man was killed Wednesday morning when he was hit by a pickup truck as he was riding his bike east of Turlock.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and East Avenue at just before 7 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The victim was identified as Nathan Miller by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. Because he was a member of the armed forces, said CHP Sgt. Steve True, his body was draped in a U.S. flag at the scene of his death.

The vehicle involved is a 2016 silver Chevy Silverado pickup. Parked roadside just east of the crash site, it had significant front right damage from the collision.

Miller was eastbound on East Avenue, on or near the white line at the roadway’s edge, True said. He was wearing a helmet. The pickup driver, identified by the CHP as 34-year-old Chad Russell of Turlock, was traveling the same direction.

The speed limit there is 55 mph, and Russell was going about 57, based on his statement to the CHP, True said. “There is no indication of braking. ... Why he did not see the rider is under investigation.” Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash, CHP spokesman Officer Thomas Olsen said.

CHP officers investigated the crash for several hours, photographing the scene and measuring distances from the road of several scattered pieces of the bike. Its frame was torn in two by the impact. “The whole bike just disintegrated,” one CHP officer remarked to another as they took measurements.

The crash is a tragic reminder to drivers, Olsen said, of the importance of watching for bicyclists and motorcyclists. He also said drivers are required to leave at least 3 feet of space when passing bicyclists.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327