Phone distraction may be to blame in Shawnee cyclist death

Sheila Stogsdill, State Correspondent Published: August 11, 2009
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SEMINOLE — Prosecutors said a Seminole State College official was reading a text message at the time of a wreck that killed a Shawnee bicyclist.

Bradley Walck, 56, of Shawnee was in court Monday in connection with the death of Ardie Lewis, 50. Lewis died July 28 when the bicycle he was riding was hit by a pickup driven by Walck, according to police reports.

Walck was charged Thursday in Seminole County District Court with a misdemeanor count of negligent homicide. He surrendered to authorities and was released on his own recognizance.

Walck was ordered to return to court Oct. 6, when he will enter a plea, said Kay Hargrave, Seminole County assistant district attorney.

Lewis was riding a 10-speed bicycle north of Seminole on State Highway 3 when he was fatally struck by the pickup, which had drifted onto the shoulder of the road, Hargrave said.

"At the time of the accident he (Walck) was looking at a text message (on his cell phone) from his daughter,” Hargrave said.

According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, Lewis was struck by the pickup and thrown 90 feet. He was not wearing a helmet and died at a Seminole hospital.

Walck told authorities he looked down to check his speed, then received a text message, according to an affidavit.

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