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LOTAJA Competitor Dies

September 10, 2012 Jackson Hole, State of Idaho, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
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One of the participants in the LOTOJA bicycle race into Jackson Saturday died as a result of an accident about eight miles south of town on Highway 89.  According to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, 42 year-old Robert Verhaaren was from Mesa, Arizona was crossing a bridge over the Snake River when he swerved to avoid a hazard in the roadway; possibly a pothole. He then overcorrected, lost control of the bicycle and crashed into the guardrail. He was catapulted over the guardrail as a result of the collision and fell approximately 35 feet into the river. The depth of the river where the cyclist landed was estimated to be 12 to 15 inches. Other race members and passers-by stopped to render aid until medical personnel arrived. The victim of the crash was later pronounced dead at St. John’s Hospital in Jackson. Teton County Coroner Kiley Campbell believes the victim suffered a possible cervical fracture. Race Spokesman Dave Burns says this is the first fatality in the race’s 30-year history. There were also two serious accidents in the race as it passed through Idaho, sending bicyclists to the hospital there.

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