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UPDATE: Officials on Sunday identified the victims on the tandem bike as Kent and Shauna Haslem, of Mountain Green. The other bicyclist was identified as Scott Duncan, also of Mountain Green. - - - - - -
CLARKSTON — Three bicyclists participating in a charity event were injured Saturday morning when a vehicle rear-ended the group, officials report.
The group was participating in the “Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride 2018,” a charity for multiple sclerosis, at about 8 a.m. when a northbound vehicle on state Route 142 crashed into two bikes from behind near Clarkston, according to Utah Highway Patrol Stg. Lawrence Hopper.
A man, who was riding a tandem bike with his wife, was flown by medical helicopter to a Salt Lake City hospital while the woman was transported by ambulance. Another cyclist was also transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
All three bicyclists suffered serious injuries but none were considered to be life-threatening, Hopper said.
The driver had attempted to avoid the bicyclists, Hopper said, and was not cited at the scene. However, drowsy driving was suspected to be the cause of the crash as the driver was come home from a late-night shift, Hopper said.
The Cache County Attorney's Office will determine whether formal charges will be filed.
The charity bike ride is Utah’s largest cycling fundraising event with nearly 1,500 participants, according to the National MS Society’s official website. The fundraiser is a two-day event and will continue on through Sunday.
A spokesperson with the organization said their primary concern is the “safety of the participants and the well-being and privacy of those involved in this incident.”
Hopper urged motorists to be extra cautious around bicyclists during this summer season. Drivers are required by law to give bicyclists a 3-foot buffer when passing them, he said.
“If you’re unable to do that then we ask that you slow your speeds down and get as far over as you can to give the cyclist some space before you pass them.”
Contributing: Caitlin Burchill, KSL TV
Editor's note: An earlier version stated both the man and the woman on the tandem bike were transported by medical helicopter. This article has since been corrected to show only the man on the tandem bike was airlifted.