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Police: Fork in fatal accident not recalled

Published May 21, 2012

REHOBOTH, MA (BRAIN) Monday May 21 2012 11:41 AM MT—A broken steerer tube most likely caused the crash that killed a Massachusetts man last month, but the fork model had not been recalled, police said.

Gary Lanoue, 58, died after crashing on a solo training ride here April 9. An off-duty police officer came across Lanoue on the side of the road with a severe head injury. His bike, a 2004 Cervelo Soloist, was next to a large tree nearby, with its fork and front wheel separated from the bike. The wheel was still attached to the fork blades at the hub, but they were only connected to the rest of the bike by the front brake cable, said Lt. James Trombetta, Rehoboth's acting police chief.

A state police accident reconstruction team initially assisted Rehoboth detectives to explore whether Lanoue was the victim of a hit-and-run, but quickly ruled that out, Trombetta said.

"It was just a horrible accident, is what it came down to," Trombetta told Bicycle Retailer. "I imagine he had no time to react. How would you react?" He said the off-duty officer likely found Lanoue within five or 10 minutes of the accident.

Trombetta said his department expects to wrap up its investigation this week and return the bike to Lanoue's family, who live in neighboring Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Police had initially wondered if Lanoue's fork might have been a model that Cervelo recalled in 2008, but that does not appear to be the case, Trombetta said.

During the investigation, two representatives from Cervelo came from Toronto to Rehoboth to look at the bike. The company later reported to Trombetta that Lanoue's fork was an FK03 model manufactured by Gigantix in Taiwan. It was the model normally sold with the 2004 Sololist and is not a model that had ever been subject to a recall, Cervelo reported.

Cervelo also told police that it had no record of previous reported breakage involving the FK03 model fork.

Asked to comment on Cervelo's investigation, company spokesman Peter Donato said, "We have nothing further to report at this time."

Steve Frothingham

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