Two Bikers Killed by Vehicle During Hampton Race

Five individuals were hurt after being struck by a car on the Neil R. Underwood Memorial Bridge.

This is what the bridge looked like roughly 15 minutes before the accident. [CREDIT: Lori Hartung]
This is what the bridge looked like roughly 15 minutes before the accident. [CREDIT: Lori Hartung]
[Story originally posted at 11:57 a.m. Updated at 12:13 p.m.]

Two bicyclists succumbed to injuries at a local hospital Saturday morning after they were struck by a vehicle during a race along Ocean Boulevard in Hampton.

Hampton police said the investigation is still ongoing, although they said preliminary findings indicate that the vehicle struck at least five individuals around 8:30 a.m. on the Neil R. Underwood Memorial Bridge, which spans Route 1A over Hampton River and Hampton Harbor.

Five ambulances were used to transport the bicyclists to area hospitals for various undisclosed injuries.

Police are withholding the names of the individuals as they work to notify family members.

The bridge and several surrounding roads were closed for hours Saturday as officers investigated the scene. 

The bicyclists were participating in the 40th Annual Seacoast Century ride, which is a non-competitive race that started at 7 a.m. at Hampton Beach State Park, commonly known as South Beach.

The following is an excerpt from the event's rules: 

"All riders must follow all rules of the road, ride single file in traffic, not block the roadways, and walk across bridges if so directed. Rider numbers and helmets must be worn at all times. Riders will be monitored by the local police departments to help ensure safe riding practices are followed."

Police asked anyone with information about the accident to contact the Hampton Police Department at 929-4444 or the Crimeline for the Hamptons at 929-1222.
Stephen Hanson September 21, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Danielle: No, Asshole bikers need to stop thinking they own the road and ride 5 abreast.
Chas F September 21, 2013 at 02:07 PM
This was not a race! It was an annual bike ride that attracts many cyclists each year. Editor, really wish you would update your headlines. Thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the cyclists.
Don Hellbound September 21, 2013 at 02:18 PM
that's the worst single file I've seen since Kindergarten.
Phil September 21, 2013 at 02:25 PM
No matter what side of the bike/car debate your on...today is NOT the day to fight that fight. Two families are devastated today...maybe spend some time thinking about them instead of worrying about who's at fault....
Kyle Stucker (Editor) September 21, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Well said, Phil. Don't forget the families of the injured, the individual(s) in the vehicle that hit the bikers, as well as the other bikers and individuals in the vehicles in the area at the time.
Phil September 21, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Steve Boyington September 21, 2013 at 02:48 PM
People are dumb. The bridge is up in the picture. None of the bikers was in active traffic in the picture. Why couldn't you nitwits wait for actual information? Umm...because you are nitwits.
Dave blue September 21, 2013 at 02:48 PM
The picture is a quite deceiving as the bridge is up and all were simply chatting and waiting for it to come down ...and to clarify some comments this was not a race it was a ride...single file ...orderly...they must follow the rules of the road too...they are very experienced riders....So it might be helpful to save the blame for when the facts are in
Tasha van Es September 21, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Having ridden this ride (not race), the cyclists are stopped at the bridge and were not likely even pedaling. They walk across this bridge as the rule excerpt states. Just horrible all the way around.
Dee Smith September 21, 2013 at 03:32 PM
2 people were killed today and 3 others injured. No facts have been released and yet everyone can't wait to put the blame on someone. I think it's time the State starts thinking about how roads are used in today's society and make some adjustments so the roads are safe for all. It's a sad day, please stop with the blame.
ML September 21, 2013 at 04:13 PM
My apology for not looking more closely at the picture...the bridge is up!!! Again how many riders I do encounter while riding, without brain bucket, but with ear phones, and not in single file.... Those deserve citations, just like automobilistes......still !!!!
Lisa Polasek September 21, 2013 at 04:24 PM
My 20 year old son witness this terrible event - he was the first car coming from the opposite direction of the car that hit the cyclist - the cyclist were one or two in a row - he gave his statement to the police - in his opinion the car was trying to pass the cars in front of her - a very young driver - the car sped up and then swerved after hitting the first two cyclist - my heart goes out to this people - it really doesnt matter if there were one two or three cyclist in a row - the point is these people left their homes this morning for a beautiful September bike ride aren't coming home tonight - My son is traumatized after witnessing this ---
Kyle Stucker (Editor) September 21, 2013 at 05:06 PM
UPDATE: http://hampton-northhampton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/police-rule-driver-struck-bicyclists-but-no-charges-issued
Timothy Horrigan September 21, 2013 at 05:20 PM
A few weeks ago there was an absurd incident where a local police chief (for reasons which where less than 100% clear) stood in the path of a group of cyclists, who simply rode past him.
Frank September 21, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Based on my experience as a cyclist and a driver, I can say that the percent of idiots who drive cars or ride bikes is about the same. It is a small percentage in both cases but they give a bad name to their groups. The thing to remember is that no matter who is at fault when it is car vs. bicycle, car ALWAYS wins.
Bernhard Armstrong September 22, 2013 at 01:27 AM
"All riders must follow all rules of the road, ride single file in traffic, not block the roadways,"……. Even though the pic was taken while the drawbridge was up…. which might account for their not being in single file per the rules at that point…. at least 5 of the bikers are clearly well beyond the "STOP HERE ON RED" sign & the stop line the arrow points to. Why would I think they would be adhering to the rest of the rules once the ride resumes?
SL September 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM
I cant believe some of the comments here. It was clearly the driver who is at fault here, not the cyclist. All drivers must yield to pedestrians (cyclists). as for the Cyclists, when you see two or three abreast, chances are you are only seeing a snapshot in time. They most likely are simply passing one another...
Engorgio Penissio September 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM
This is not and was not a RACE! It is a Century ride, a pleasure ride, a recreational ride. It is not a RACE!!!!!!!!
exoticdoc2 September 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Danielle. It is quite often NOT the drivers. How many times have bike riders been riding out in the middle of the traffic lane when they have room off to the side, and riding in giant clumps several abreast instead of single file? I ride at times myself, but too many bikers seem to think they own the road and this is what often leads to the conflicts. And between a bike and a 2000 plus pound vehicle the bike is always going to lose. Show a little common sense and follow biking etiquette, bikers.
Sherri Isbister September 22, 2013 at 03:44 PM
If you look at the rules and then at the picture the cyclists are not in a single file and are in the lane of traffice. Cyclists do this all the time where I live too. There can not be cyclists and cars in the same lane. It is a shame but I find the cyclists do not abide by the rules.
Alvaro Bastidas September 22, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Just watch this PSA. your opinions and perspective will change. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=159434654251232&set=vb.184885218237888&type=2&theater
Andrew Mazer September 22, 2013 at 06:10 PM
I joined about 1500 other cyclists in this event -- not a 'race' in any sense -- and I can say that everyone rode in single file. In some places, there was a demarcated shoulder, separate from the roadway, where it was safe to pedal two abreast, but other than that everyone I saw riding yesterday rode in single file. As a road rider, I can say that most drivers are reasonably careful around cyclists... About 10% pass too close to us or cut us off heedlessly... And about 1% or so are homicidal maniacs.
too2blonde September 23, 2013 at 06:20 AM
Of course they appear to not be following the rules of the road and the way the writer put it " this is the way the bridge looked 15 min before" . The bridge is UP tards, there is a sign " stop here" the guys were off their bikes. Open your damn eyes
Melinda Rankin September 23, 2013 at 08:46 AM
Pat, one little clarification: cyclists actually don't count as pedestrians--instead, we're are subject to the same laws, rules, rights, and responsibilities as operators of motor vehicles.
Norman Cook September 23, 2013 at 01:32 PM
The law does not require cyclist to ride single file. It is safer but it is not the law. Persons riding bicycles two or more abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, and on a laned road shall ride within a single lane. (RSA 265:144 V)
kate September 23, 2013 at 02:08 PM
I wish someone would remind the "cyclists" about what they are supposed to be doing too. Too many times I drive home at night, on a four lane, undivided road. No parking on either side as both lanes on each side are used for driving. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I come upon "cyclists" riding in the middle of the driving lane, sometimes alone, more often alongside another "cyclist" and even, a few times, with as many as four or five abreast. This road also has a dedicated bike path that runs parallel to it for miles. Then they "wonder" why people get aggravated. You want car drivers to watch out for you but you blow through stop signs and stop lights (something else I see EVERY DAY), fail to signal, and put yourselves right into a traffic lane that is moving at least at 35 mph when you being in the lane at maybe 15 mph will impede traffic. The very drivers whose car registration fees pay for the roads. As a "cyclist" you are NOT entitled to the whole road. You are entitled to a safe space designated by your use of safe riding practices, and abiding by the same rules of the road. If you are impeding traffic, just like a car doing 15 mph in a 35 mph zone you need to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let faster traffic pass you.
Southpaw September 23, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Would love to know who the idiot is who struck FIVE people. Whether or not a biker is "not in the lines", drivers still have to be cautious. How the hell do you hit 5 people with your car? Drunk? Intentional? Selfish texting? Or just plain stupid?
Great Googly Moogly September 23, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I do not understand the anger that motorists have towards bicyclists. Sometimes I drive a car and sometimes I ride a bicycle on the road. I have never been angry with people bicycling on the road. Why are you so angry that people ride bicycles on the road?
Melinda Rankin September 23, 2013 at 04:44 PM
GGM: I'm with you, I don't get it either. Yes, there are cyclists who give the rest of us a bad name; there are also drivers who give the rest of us a bad name. The vast majority of both are responsible and sensible. Of course the bad ones stand out more--that's just the way the mind works. It's natural to focus on the exceptions. Most people I know who ride bikes (myself included) also drive cars; so why on earth should there be this great divide between drivers and cyclists? We're often one and the same. Kate, the idea that "registration fees pay for the roads" is a myth; it's just not true. Local/state/occasionally federal taxes pay for the roads, not registration fees (though again, as most of us in fact have cars, we pay those anyway, but they are not earmarked for roads or road improvements). Remember that roads don't exist solely so that people can travel on them in cars; the primary reason they're maintained as carefully as they (usually) are in most communities is so that emergency vehicles can traverse them safely as needed to get where they need to be.
Mike Conlon September 23, 2013 at 05:02 PM
People using this tragedy to further some anti-cyclist agenda, are sick, sick individuals. You need help.


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