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Cyclist fighting for his life after another crash at deadly Aurora intersection

City has vowed to make changes
Posted at 6:05 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 10:50:01-04

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AURORA, Colo. -- Douglas County deputies responded to yet another crash at a deadly Aurora intersection Friday and Contact7 has learned of another crash which critically injured a cyclist.

Contact7 Investigates first reported on the confusion at County Line Rd. and S. Powhaton Rd., an intersection neighbors claim is poorly designed and dangerous.

There have been two fatal crashes at the intersection in the past two months.

Friday's crash was minor, but Sean Miller said his dad is fighting for his life after he was injured while riding his bike near the intersection on Aug. 12.

"You don't have to spend too long to realize that it is incredibly dangerous," said Miller. "This is the area where he was found, in the shoulder."

Red Miller, 76, was riding his bike southbound on County Line when something happened.

"From his crash, he had a crushed pelvis, five broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a concussion to the point where he is still unable to communicate with us," said Miller. "The tough part for us is we don't have a camera, we don't have a witness."

The witness who called 911 arrived after the crash happened which has left his family more confused than the already confusing intersection.

"Makes us all very confused because we can't figure out how he would have so many injuries and so little damage to his bike," explained Miller.

He showed us photos of his dad's bike which showed little to no damage.

"His bike had only a flat back tire, there was no damage to it. Other than a couple scratches on the handle bars, but nothing that would indicate the kind of damage my dad sustained."

Miller has his own theory, but without any witnesses, Aurora police said there is no conclusive evidence about what happened.

"I believe that he had a mechanical issue with his bike and had pulled over to fix that and was struck by a car while he was working on this bike," he said.

Aurora city leaders are taking steps to improve safety after Contact7 began reporting on the intersection and had crews out conducting a traffic study this week. City leaders said traffic engineers will comb through that data next week to determine if a light or four-way stop is warranted.

"We hear you loud and clear and we know that this is a top priority," said Aurora City Councilwoman Francoise Bergan.

Also adding to the red tape, three different local governments have a piece of the puzzle and part responsibility at the intersection.

"Makes it a much more complicated situation," said Bergan.

Aurora oversees the intersection infrastructure which would include any traffic improvements, while Douglas County would oversee expanding the roadway at Piney Lake Road. Arapahoe County's jurisdiction comes in at the corner of Sampson Gulch and N. Powhaton.

Bergan also said the road will likely have to be expanded before a traffic signal could be installed.

"You can’t place signals where the road's gonna be widened and have to move them. Logically, that doesn't make sense," said Bergan. "We may have to come up with temporary solution before the long-term solution."

What Miller and other neighbors aren't confused about is the need to fix the intersection before it happens again.

"Something they need to fix sooner rather than later," said Miller. "There are no rules at this intersection."

Miller is asking anyone who saw anything at the intersection when his father crashed to call Aurora Police. It happened on Aug. 12 at around noon. Witnesses are asked to contact Lt. Jad Lanigan with APD at (303) 739-6326.

In response to Friday's crash, Councilwoman Bergan said she is calling on public works to install a temporary solution at the intersection while the traffic data is being analyzed. She mentioned a blinking stop sign or more pre-caution signs to warn drivers.