A homeless man on a bicycle died Saturday morning after he was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe at a downtown Fresno intersection, police said.
Lt. Mike Brogdon said the accident happened around 10 a.m. at Ventura Avenue and R Street, under the Highway 41 overpass.
Brogdon described what investigators believe happened:
A 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling west on Ventura approaching R Street. At the same time, the bicyclist, Marshall Blantz, 57, was riding east in the westbound lane, illegally against traffic.
It is unclear if Blantz was near the curb or in the middle of the roadway.
The 21-year-old driver of the Tahoe did not see Blantz until just before colliding with him, causing him to be thrown over a wire fence along Ventura Avenue. In an effort to avoid the collision, the Tahoe driver veered and hit a light signal pole, knocking it into a van stopped on R Street at the intersection.
Blantz, from Fresno, was taken to Community Regional Medical Center with head and facial trauma. He was pronounced dead at 10:36 a.m. Brogdon said a helmet was not found at the scene.
There is no bike path in the area, Brogdon said, and bicyclists are expected to follow vehicle laws when that is the case.
Brogdon said the families riding in the Tahoe and van were shaken up, but cooperating with the investigation. No arrests were made.
Alcohol and/or drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision, Brogdon said. A city worker was repairing the light signal.
This story was updated with the name of the bicyclist.