Bicycling Around Minnesota rider hit when driver runs stop sign

  • Updated: August 16, 2013 - 8:48 PM

A 22-year-old driver ran a stop sign near Paynesville Friday morning and hit a bicyclist who was on a four-day group tour of Minnesota, authorities said.

The bicyclist, 55-year-old Gerald Johnson of Bemidji, was taken to St. Cloud Hospital and was in serious condition Friday night with broken bones. He had been wearing a helmet, said nursing supervisor Mary Loecken. .

According to the Stearns County sheriff, Josie Magnan was driving south on 293rd Avenue in a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix about 2 miles north of Paynesville, ran the stop sign at County Road 16 and struck Johnson, who was westbound on the county road. The intersection is surrounded by farmland.

Johnson was one of 275 bicyclists from 20 states and two Canadian provinces riding the eighth annual Bicycling Around Minnesota tour. Friday was the second day of the tour, with riders covering about 65 miles from Albany to Spicer. The collision occurred about halfway between the two cities.

Tour marketing director Lisa Austin said she knew of no other collisions in the tour’s history. Friday’s incident briefly rerouted the tour.

“Times like this are good times to reflect on the ‘Share the Road’ message, and how to share the road safely — for both bicyclists and motorists,” Austin said.

Bill McAuliffe

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