Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Finish line destroyed in weekend bike race

Damage estimated at almost $15K


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    Damage was estimated at almost $15,000 when a pickup truck crashed through a finish line tent on Sunday for the Rebecca’s Private Idaho Gravel Grinder endurance bike race.
    Sun Valley Interim Police Chief Walt Femling said the accident occurred at 12:30 p.m. at the race finish line that was set up on Trail Creek Road near the entrance to the Sun Valley Lodge parking area.
Femling said a motorist, identified as Aaron Matsko, 25, of Boise, had stopped his southbound vehicle in the middle of the road to ask whether it was acceptable to drive over a timing mat placed on the road. Before Matsko got the answer that it was OK, Femling said, a 1978 Ford F-150 pickup pulling a trailer and driven by Shad Lethleak, 39, of Gooding, came over a small hill north of the finish line and didn’t see the stopped vehicle in time to stop.


They still had quite a few hours before anybody came in,
so they were able to get the counting mat up again and everyone got their times.”

Walt Femling
Sun Valley interim police chief


     Femling said Lethleak applied his brakes and skidded about 50 feet, missing the vehicle but crashing through the tent, which was filled with timing equipment, computers, other electronic equipment and a carbon-fiber mountain bike.
    No one was injured but damage to the equipment was estimated at $8,000 and damage to the mountain bike at $6,800.
    The race went on anyway.
    “They still had quite a few hours before anybody came in, so they were able to get the counting mat up again and everyone got their times,” Femling said.
    The accident remained under investigation on Tuesday.
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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