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University of Colorado Student Dies in Bike-Car Accident

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A ride for charity became a tragedy last Monday when a University of Colorado student was killed in a bike-car accident in New Mexico. John Anczarski was part of a four-man team bicycling across the country — raising funds and awareness for breast cancer — when he was fatally struck on his bike by a car.

Erica Meltzer, staff writer at The Daily Camera, reports:

[…] John Anczarski, 19, of Ringtown, Pa., was one of a group of four young men riding across the country as part of The Pink Pedal project, which was raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They left Schuylkill County in northeastern Pennsylvania on May 23 and expected to reach San Diego in mid- to late July.

Anczarski was hit by a car near New Laguna, N.M., on Monday and suffered serious head trauma. He was declared brain dead Tuesday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Hospital, the Republican Herald reported. His family planned to donate his organs.

The accident is still under investigation, a process made more complex by the fact that it happened on tribal lands. Amanda Leigh Brozana, a reporter for, has an extensive article detailing the accident and interviewing police and witnesses — including this from fellow cycle team member Ty Bereskie:

‘I was standing still on the side of the road and John was riding toward me when I saw the car come riding off the road, onto the apron area, and then he struck John,’ Bereskie said.

Bereskie said Anczarski fell from his bike and onto the windshield of the car. The helmet Anczarski was wearing appeared to be pushed back, exposing his head, Bereskie said, and Anczarski seemed to strike his head when he landed on the roadway.

‘The car continued toward me off the road, almost struck me and I ran out of the way and moved to the side and then ran toward John. The car swerved back onto the road, continued down the road a way until he turned around, after some time,’ Bereskie said.

Investigations continue, and according to Brozana, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been brought in. She reports that the case is being overseen by District 4 BIA Criminal Investigator Marcelino Toersbijns. Toersbijns has not yet offered any comments or statements on the fatal accident.

Image by Andy Siharath on Flickr, used under its Creative Commons license


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