SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A 33-year-old man from Chula Vista died when he was struck by a pickup truck while riding his recumbent bicycle along Foxen Canyon Road Saturday evening. Matthew Troy O'Neill was pronounced dead at the scene after the pickup's right front made contact with the cycle.
While California Highway Patrol investigators have not yet released the name of the 16-year-old teen driving the pickup, the passenger in his vehicle was 18-year-old Nicolas Maldonado, son of former Lt. Governor and Santa Maria Mayor Abel Maldonado. Neither the driver nor Nicolas Maldonado were hurt in the accident.
This is the second time Nicolas Maldonado has been the passenger in a vehicle involved in a fatal accident along Foxen Canyon Road. In July, 2012, Maldonado was riding with his mother when a driver failed to stop, forcing a collision. The driver of that car died, and the accident was ruled his fault. Maldonado and his mother were not seriously hurt, but went to the hospital as a precaution.
CHP investigators have determined alcohol and drugs were not a factor in this weekend's crash, but have not yet released the official cause of the accident. The driver was towing a horse trailer behind his pickup at the time of the crash.
A recumbent bicycle is different from traditional cycles because it sits lower to the ground, and the rider is in a seated position with feet extend forward toward the front wheel.