BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man died from his injuries after being hit by an SUV while riding his bike Monday near the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.
64-year-old Clifford Gouner, who died later at a local hospital, was hit by a Ford Escape. The two people in the SUV were not hurt.
Police said in a statement that Gouner was biking on the shoulder of the road when he, for unknown reasons, veered into the westbound lanes.
"He was trying to cross the road with no crosswalk protection and was struck by a vehicle proceeding west," said Cpl. Don Coppola with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
The crash happened just after 2 p.m. on Goodwood Blvd. near the intersection with Lobdell Avenue. The westbound lane of Goodwood was shut down for a few hours while police investigated the crash.
It was not a hit and run. The driver stopped after the crash and spoke with police. BRPD said charges are not likely to be filed against the driver of the SUV.
The fatal crash comes as Baton Rouge considers expanding biking opportunities in the city, including a bike share. Still, despite the crash, the Baton Rouge biking community said they have no intention of hanging up their helmets anytime soon.
"You can't crawl in bed and live your life under the covers," said Matt Bartol, a local cyclist.
Local cyclists say that Baton Rouge is not the safest place to go for a bike ride.
"Biking is more dangerous than it is in other places, where bicycling comes naturally. In Baton Rouge, you have to fight for it," said Mika Torkkola, a member of Bike Baton Rouge.
While many back roads are ideal for biking, they said they often must cross large busy roads to get from community to community.
"It would be nice if there would be separated bike lanes," said Bartol.
They said for now they will take precautions like wearing helmets and using lights at night.
"Bikes are a good thing on the road," said Torkkola. "More bikes doesn't mean more congestion, it means less. Bikes take up less space."