Woman Killed in Downhill Bicycle Accident Identified

HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK (KHNL) - A woman who died in a downhill bicycle accident at Haleakala National Park Wednesday has been identified as 65-year-old Roberta Blake of Amherst, Ohio.

Blake was participating in a downhill bicycle tour when she lost control of her bicycle and crossed the double yellow center line of the highway into opposing traffic.

Officials say that's when she was fatally struck by an up-bound van.

Preliminary investigations show the road conditions were clear and dry and the weather was overcast with no rain.

The accident happened within eyesight of the park's headquarters Visitor Center.  Witnesses say the driver of the van could not have prevented the accident.

This marks the third fatality within a year involving a downhill tour company in the park.

"We obviously take this very seriously," says superintendent Marilyn Parris.  "Health and safety of our visitors is criticial."

Parris announces a mandatory safety meeting for all bicycle permit holders early next week.  There are currently 19 Bicycle companies with permits to operate in Haleakala National Park.