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Police: man rides bike into path of truck, severely injured

Modified: Monday, Aug 12th, 2013

Emergency crews respond to a collision between a bicyclist and a truck. (Photos by Todd Guild and Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — A Watsonville man was severely injured Monday after he reportedly rode his bicycle into the path of an oncoming truck, Watsonville Police said.

According to witness Gordon Leighton, the man was riding southbound on Lee Road toward West Beach Street approximately 10 a.m., swerving in and out of traffic.

“He looked like he was trying to get hit,” he said.

The bicyclist, who is in his 30s, suffered a head injury and was flown by air ambulance to a San Jose trauma center, said Watsonville Police Master Officer Jess Ojeda.

The driver, from Montañez Farms, was hauling a load of empty cardboard strawberry flats in a large, flatbed pickup truck. He was not injured.

Another driver said he avoided the bicyclist when he tried to swerve into his path.

“He was trying to do the same thing to me,” said the driver, who declined to give his name. “When I came back I saw this accident.”

Ojeda said the bicyclist has an extensive criminal history, and is deaf.

Approximately a half-mile stretch of Lee Road was blocked from West Beach Street for about an hour while emergency personnel worked the scene.

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