Popular local cyclist Kent Winberry dies from injuries in Durham traffic accident | News

Popular local cyclist Kent Winberry dies from injuries in Durham traffic accident

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The early evening of Oct. 18 was cool, 68 degrees, with a few scattered clouds, a perfect afternoon for cycling.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Kent Winberry was biking east on Duke University Road, when Ernest Lipscomb, who was headed west, turned his Dodge Ram truck left onto Chapel Hill Road, striking Winberry.

Winberry, a popular local cyclist and advocate, died last night from his injuries, according to Elizabeth Witzke, who posted this message on his CaringBridge page:

"Our beautiful, kind, creative, quirky, adventurous, and loving friend and family member, Kent, died tonight. His condition had declined rapidly. He died with family and friends present, at peace, in no pain, and I believe full of the knowledge that he is loved and that he made a difference to all who had the fortune of knowing him during his full and well-lived life.

Thank you to each and every one of you who commented on this site, visited Kent, sent thoughts and prayers from near and far. Earlier today I read to Kent all posts and comments from this site, as well as the comments many of you wrote in the guest book in his room. I know it made a difference to him. What a lucky guy to have been liked so much by so many."

Winberry worked as an IT analyst at Duke Health Technology Solutions, according to his LinkedIn page.

In 2010, Winberry wrote a letter to state legislators about bicycling safety in regards to a bill that would have required cyclists to ride two abreast or single file in North Carolina: " When I'm riding alone, I'm most vulnerable to passing vehicles and an accident," it reads in part.  "... The bill ignores the fact that the bicycle has the right to occupy the lane and also ignores that you must apply sound judgment when overtaking a slower vehicle(s), especially if you are going to use the oncoming lane. It is vaguely worded and puts cyclists in an even more dangerous position on the road. This is a bill to discourage cyclists from using the road more than protecting them. "

While Winberry was hospitalized, a specialist with the League of American Bicyclists visited Durham to discuss how to improve the city's infrastructure, safety and culture.

Duke University Road and Chapel Hill Road is a dangerous and busy intersection for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers of cars—basically all living beings. Duke University Road is a main thoroughfare between downtown and Duke's West Campus, and Chapel Hill Road is a primary artery to southwest-central Durham.

1) To the west, a blind hill makes entering Duke University Road from Chapel Hill Street a gamble
2) Without a traffic light, cars often speed through this area
3) City buses stop near this intersection, which block sight lines
4) Cars often pass buses on the left—and pass on the right cars that are turning left

Arrangements for Winberry are pending.


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