MADISON TWP. — An Avon Lake man was struck and killed while riding a bicycle in Sandusky County.
According to a news release from the Ohio Highway Patrol, Mark Wladecki, 60, was bicycling west on Township Road 55 near Gibsonburg at 8:46 a.m. Sunday when he failed to stop at a stop sign and traveled into the path of a GMC Acadia driven south on County Road 32 by Wayne Groweg, 74, of Gibsonburg. The news release says Wladecki struck the Acadia’s left front fender and was thrown from his bicycle.
Wladecki was a physician with the ENT Group of Cleveland Inc. in Westlake. He specialized in otolaryngology, or pediatric and adult head and neck surgery. He originally was from Elyria, where his father practiced otolaryngology for more than 30 years.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Wladecki reportedly was participating in a duathlon in Gibsonburg at the time of the accident. The event was hosted by Sandusky County Positive People, according to the Chief Park Ranger Chuck Broshiuous, with the Sandusky County Park Ranger’s office. The White Star 5K and Multisport festival, benefiting SCPP, was organized by All Sports Timing and Race Management. He said it would have been up to All Sports Timing and Management to handle blocking off roads during the event.
Neither SCPP or All Sports Timing could be reached for comment.
No charges or citations have been issued, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor. Wladecki was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Attorney Steve Magas, with the Magas Firm in Cincinnati, has handled litigation involving bicycles for almost a decade. He said it depends on the race course and promoters as to whether or not the roads are closed to local traffic during an event. The Sandusky County Sheriff’s office and patrol reportedly did not handle closing the race route, which was along several rural roads outside White Star Park.
“In this particular crash it struck me as odd,” Magas said. “In a normal street setting you … drive your bike as you drive your car … you stop at stop signs and red lights, all of those rules apply to the normal driving of a bike on a road, but in a race the expectation is certainly likely to be different. You don’t expect to have a 20-mile race to stop and have to wait.”