MAGNA — A 48-year-old woman on a bicycle was struck and killed Tuesday by a 17-year-old girl whose windshield was covered with painted dots because it was her birthday, police say.
Just after 11:30 a.m. on a residential street near 8800 West and 3300 South, a 17-year-old Cyprus High student was driving a pickup truck with a male high school friend in the passenger seat, said Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson.
For an unknown reason, the truck veered into a lane of two oncoming bicyclists riding side by side. Karen Johnson and a male co-worker were taking a ride during their lunch break, Hutson said. The cyclists, realizing the driver did not see them, took evasive action. The male cyclist veered to the right and went off the road, the woman went to the left.
At the last second, however, the driver quickly corrected but struck Johnson, who was wearing a helmet, Hutson said. Johnson died from the collision.
It was unclear whether visibility issues from the paint and balloons floating in the cab of the vehicle played a factor in the accident, Hutson said. Investigators were also looking at whether distracted driving was a factor. Charges against the driver are pending.
Johnson, of Salt Lake City, is an electrical engineer and was described by family to be an avid bicyclist. Her husband, a commercial pilot, was in Hong Kong Tuesday but was planning to return home as soon as possible.
Sandra Kragthorpe, Johnson's sister, said late Tuesday that the family hoped people would learn to share the road with cyclists