Alex Beld contributed to this story.
A man who reportedly glanced down at some papers while driving on Highway 14 in Cross Plains hit and killed a 62-year-old woman from Madison, who biked the route almost daily to work at HSA Home Warranty.
Cynthia Arsnow is the eighth person killed while bicycling on a Wisconsin road this year and one of four who died because a motorist failed to see them pedaling on the road ahead. Inattentive driving has been cited a factor in her death.
No citations have been issued against the driver, a 69-year-old man from Mazomanie, Rollen J. Fries. Citations or criminal charges might follow the crash investigation being conducted by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.
Arsnow was biking westbound on Highway 14 about 9 a.m. Friday, when the motorist drifted over the fog line and hit her from behind on the shoulder of the road, according to media reports.
This is a view of Highway 14 westbound, near the crash location.
Arsnow’s family described her as a caring, loving and gentle soul, survived by her mother, two brothers and sister. They knew her as Cindy. Arsnow earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and spent 16 years studying music in India.
Her death offers another sad reminder of the dangers created by inattentive driving. State law says drivers may not perform activities that interfere with the safe driving of their vehicle and may not text while the car is in motion. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recommends drivers avoid multitasking behind the wheel, and make an effort to remain alert with both eyes on the road.
Still, inattentive driving continues to take a heavy toll on Wisconsin families. In 2012, the DOT found that 107 traffic deaths were caused by inattentive driving, roughly 19 percent of all fatal crashes.
Working with the DOT, the Wisconsin Bike Fed uses the safety messages of the Share & Be Aware program to remind motorists and all people using Wisconsin roads to look out for others. Whether you ride a bike, drive or walk, please share the message with others that obeying the speed limit and driving with full attention can save a neighbor.
Data shows that high speeds compound the dangers on the road. The speed limit on Highway 14 west of Madison is 55 mph, well beyond what it takes to kill someone on a bike or walking. A car traveling at that speed requires roughly 50 yards to come to a stop, and that’s after the motorist has realized they are about to hits someone.
Remaining attentive at all times, and slowing down will help save lives.