Press Release:
Bicyclist killed in racing accident

9/9/2012 4:17:21 PM

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, at approximately 3:15 p.m., the Teton County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received a call in reference to a bicycle accident at the Snake River Bridge, approximately eight (8) miles south of the Town of Jackson on Highway 89. 

 Preliminary investigation shows that a bicyclist, who was participating in an annual bicycle race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming, was traveling north on Highway 89.  He was crossing a bridge over the Snake River when he came upon a hazard in the roadway; at this time, the hazard is believed to be a pothole.  He swerved to miss the hazard, overcorrected, lost control of the bicycle and crashed into the guardrail. Upon crashing into the guardrail he was catapulted over the guardrail and fell approximately 35 feet into the river.  The depth of the river was estimated to be 12 to 15 inches where the cyclist landed. 

 Other race members and passersby stopped to render aid until medical personnel arrived.  The victim of the crash was later pronounced dead at St. John's Hospital in Jackson.  Preliminarily, Coroner Kiley Campbell believes the victim suffered a possible cervical fracture.  

The victim, 42 year-old Robert Verhaaren was from Mesa, Arizona.  

 The Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming bike race, referred to as LOTOJA, is a popular end-of-summer event that draws interest from across the country and involves approximately 1000 riders annually.