Driver error apparent cause of cyclist’s death

Anne Arundel County police say a driver who struck and killed a bicyclist on a two-lane road Wednesday evening was at fault, and they have asked the states attorney’s office to determine whether charges should be brought.

Police said Trish Cunningham, 50, of Annapolis  was hit by Honda van shortly before 5:30 p.m. as she rode her bike southbound on Riva Road near Beards Point Road in Davidsonville. She was taken to Anne Arundel County Medical Center, where she died of her injuries, police said.

Police said their preliminary information indicated that the bike was in the travel portion of the road in front of the vehicle. There is no shoulder on that portion of Riva Road. They said the vehicle, driven by Whitney Anne Decesaris, 37, of Huntingtown, approached Cunningham from behind and struck her in attempting to pass. Under Maryland law, passing vehicles are required to stay a minimum of three feet from cyclists in attempting to pass.

Police said the crash was caused by driver error. They said alcohol and speed were not factors. When asked whether distracted driving might have been a factor, police responded that the investigation is continuing.

“The states attorney’s office will be consulted to determine if any charges will be filed in this case,” the police said.

Cunningham was the cross-country coach at Annapolis High School and a well-known figure in the region’s athletic community. She had planned to compete in the Annapolis 10 Miler race Sunday.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.

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