A 48-year-old business owner from Sheboygan was killed Wednesday night while bicycling in Sheboygan County, the second fatal collision involving a cyclist on state roads in two weeks.
According to Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Jorsch, Troy Tousey was pedaling with a group southbound on Highway Y, about three miles north of Sheboygan, about 6:45 p.m. He died after the collision with a car, also heading south. The driver was identified as Roger Peterson, 67, also from Sheboygan.
The initial investigation showed that Tousey was riding on the right side of the road, near the unpaved shoulder. No citations have been issued, and the Wisconsin State Patrol has been assigned to produce a report detailing the circumstances of the crash.
Online sources identify Tousey as the owner of Open Mind Studios, a graphic design firm. He grew up in Green Bay, studied at Northwestern University and is the father of twins.
“Troy is an avid bicyclist, snowboarder and musicologist,” according to the company web page. “He wishes he were a more avid guitar player, photographer, and concert promoter.”
With Tousey’s death, cycling fatalities in the state this year outpace the number from the same date in 2011, a year in which 12 people were killed in collisions with motor vehicles.
On May 23, a motorist drove into and killed Tammy Gass, 42, as she biked on Highway KK outside of Mosinee.
The driver, Tracy Kruzicki, was arrested at the scene for driving without a valid license and causing a death. He has not been charged, according to online court records. Authorities are preparing a crash reconstruction report to present to the Marathon County District Attorney, who will consider charges in the case.
Gass was a widow, whose first husband, Gregg Bednorski also died in a cycling crash. He hit a truck parked on the side of the road, also near Mosinee, in 2008.
In reporting on Tousey’s death, Dave Schlabowske, communications director for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, shared this reminder:
“…Let’s all pledge to be more cautious and law abiding, both on the bike and behind the wheel. Bicycles are legal vehicles in Wisconsin, and have a right the road and the right to expect safe travels.
“When we are driving a motor vehicle, we must pay full attention to that task and be on the look out for other more vulnerable road users like people on foot and on bicycles. When driving, we are required to travel the speed limit or slower if conditions warrant it and take great caution when passing bicycles by three feet or more.
“Most adult bicyclists own cars, so if we start with ourselves, we can serve as examples and even neighborhood pace cars. How many friends do you have who speed, text, eat oatmeal, etc. on their way to a bike race or other destination?
With cyclists’ right to safe travel comes the responsibility of obeying the laws and riding in a safe and predictable manner. When we are on two wheels, we must obey stop signs and traffic signals and ride no more than two abreast or single file when necessary. In urban areas where speeds are slower, cyclists are allowed to (and often should) take the lane, when there is not enough room for a car and bicycle to safely operate in the lane side-by-side.”