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Cyclist in Yosemite National Park Dies in Collision With Auto


Yosemite Valley's Southside Drive. Photo by wasabicube via Flickr.

The Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park is a particularly busy and congested place during the height of summer.

Visitors are coming into the valley via the two-lane Southside Drive, a one-way road, while others are leaving via the two-lane Northside Drive, also a one-way road. Delivery trucks and buses also are negotiating these roads, while pedestrians and cyclists are exploring the valley.

Against this backdrop, a 52-year-old visitor from South Korea died recently when he was struck by a vehicle on Southside Drive.

Park investigators say Sung Mo Ku was riding a mountain bike eastbound on Southside Drive on May 29 when the accident occurred. Accident investigators believe that Mr. Ku was attempting to cross from the south side of the road to a pullout on the north side of the road when he collided with an oncoming vehicle.

Witnesses estimated the speed of the vehicle to be about 30 mph, and said that Mr. Ku was thrown up on the hood, then thrown forward to the ground when the vehicle stopped. The cyclist was treated on scene by ranger/medics and was transported by ambulance to the Yosemite Medical Clinic. He was then flown to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he died from a severe head injury.

Mr. Ku was not wearing a helmet.


Very sad to read this, and also disappointed Mr Ku wasn't wearing a helmet. Probably would have saved his life.

I always wear my helmet, actually feel naked on the bike if I'm not wearing it, along with my gloves. Learned the hard way once, and that was enough!

Very true. In my street medic days I once saw a helmet split in two on impact, falling to the side like two clamshells, but the head inside was left intact. The impact on that same head without the helmet would have been gruesome.

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