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Still unclear if 89-year-old driver will face charges following fatal collision

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-13 11:55:08-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's not clear if a driver who hit and killed a bicyclist yesterday will face any charges.

The accident happened in the Foothills, where Skyline merges into Sunrise.

Witnesses told deputies an 89-year-old man hit a female bicyclist as he merged into Sunrise.

This road is busy with rush hour traffic, but it was also busy yesterday when the accident happened about 11:45.

The way Sunrise and Skyline merge here makes this an intersection where anyone on the road needs extra caution.

The accident kept Sunrise backed up for hours while deputies took the precise measurement they need to re-construct what happened.

We know Vermont resident 69-year-old Patricia Lyon-Surrey was on a bicycle headed west---in the bike lane when 89 year old James Jacobson merged in from Skyline, and hit her.

He stayed at the scene and co-operated with investigators.

At the Sheriff Department's request, ADOT is going to run that 89 year old driver through a special medical evaluation. It will look at things like vision and hearing but there's also a medical drive, is what they call it, which looks at other factors that could affect his fitness as a driver. One thing we're learned about elderly driver is sometimes they'll have problems like arthritic necks which can affect their ability to check and make a safe merge.

Any driver, or any cyclist, at any age could be challenged at the Sunrise and Skyline intersection.

the way the bike lane and merge lane cross requires everyone to be alert, and courteous. Cory Foster is a cyclist who works nearby at Oro Valley Bicycle.

"Just looking over my right shoulder, watching drivers come down the hill because they're coming a lot faster than I am, trying to guage if we're going to meet there because, there's a yield sign there but people don't necessarily pay attention to that."

We looked into Mister Jacobson's driving record and did not find any violations.

The Sheriff's Department says Sunrise and Skyline does not stand out as an accident hot spot. The last accident here, was a car versus car accident with no injuries. It happened two years ago.