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Teen driver distracted in Indiana Township bicyclist's death, report finds

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Friday, June 11, 2010

A teenage driver who stuck and killed a bicycle rider last month along Harts Run Road in Indiana Township was distracted by his flip-flops, Allegheny County police said.

The early morning mishap felled Donald Parker, 52, of Hampton, who was riding to work in the RIDC Park in O'Hara. He died later in the morning during surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital.

County police Lt. Bill Palmer said a 17-year-old boy was on his way to school at Fox Chapel Area High School when he looked away, drove off the side of the road and hit Parker.

Parker was a software programming manager for Aptech Computer Systems Inc. at Delta Drive.

Palmer said detectives have concluded their investigation.

"The report has been sent to the district attorney's office to see if anything beyond possibly careless driving will be charged," he said.

The district attorney's office didn't return calls of inquiry.

Parker was making the eight-mile ride from his house to work as preparation for an annual charity bicycle run. He was peddling on the shoulder of the road and the 17-year-old was heading in the same direction and was distracted, according to Palmer.

Palmer said the youth remains devastated by the accident.

Parker is survived by his widow and three children. His riding was part of his preparation for a 140-mile Multiple Sclerosis Foundation benefit ride that starts Saturday.

According to PennDOT, there were 16 bicycle fatalities across the state last year. That was double the previous year, but four fewer than in 2007.

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