Cross country cyclist killed by passing truck

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A cross country cyclist was killed when he was stuck by a passing truck Monday afternoon.

The accident occurred on Mississippi Highway 26 West between Poplarville and Bogalusa, La., when a west bound 2008 GMC pickup collided with west bound man riding a bicycle, said Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Master Sgt. Johnny Poulos. The cyclist was identified as 62 year-old Hal Kent of Milledgeville, Ga.

Poulos said the driver of the truck, 40 year-old Richard Stafford of Bogalusa, La., reported to troopers that as he approached the cyclist he attempted to pass but as he did so the cyclist moved into his path of travel and the two collided.

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Kent was transported to Forrest General Hospital where he was pronounced dead, said Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage.

Turnage said Kent was a cross-country cyclist.

Poulos said the case is still under investigation but at this time no charges have been pressed on Stafford.

While autopsy results were still pending Tuesday afternoon, Turnage said he expects Kent’s cause of death to be listed as closed head trauma sustained in the accident. Turnage said a toxicology test will be conducted as part of Kent’s autopsy. Poulos said MHP is investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved on Stafford’s part, which is common in all accidents involving a fatality.