Aurora Firefighter Dies After Getting Struck By Car While Riding Bike

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – An Aurora firefighter has died after getting hit by a car while riding his bicycle Friday morning.

Lt. Charles DeShazer with Aurora police said officers and the fire department responded to a report of a vehicle colliding with a bicyclist shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the 18200 block of East Quincy Avenue.

“Arriving units found the bicycle rider down as a result of the collision with severe injuries. It was discovered on scene that the bicyclist was an Aurora firefighter, Jason Murphy, who had been traveling to work,” DeShazer said in a statement.

Murphy was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

Through the investigation it was found that a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup driven by William Nale, 49, of Aurora, had struck Murphy. Nale stayed at the scene.

“Through witness statements the officers learned the bicyclist was utilizing the marked crosswalk and signal light at the intersection which provides access to Summit Elementary School located at 18201 East Quincy Avenue,” DeShazer said.

DeShazer said Nale was battling the morning sun and was not able to see the traffic signal or Murphy in the crosswalk.

Witnesses said Nale was traveling around 30 miles per hour. The posted speed limit for the area is 40 mph.

Investigators determined Nale failed to observe the red signal or see Murphy. He was cited for careless driving resulting in death and failure to provide proof of insurance upon request.

Statement from the Aurora Police Department

This morning at 7:32am, Aurora Firefighter Jason Murphy was involved in an auto pedestrian accident. Firefighter Murphy was riding his bicycle en-route to work when he was struck by a vehicle. Aurora Fire crews responded, treated Jason and transported him to a local hospital with serious injuries. While being treated in the Emergency Department, Firefighter Murphy passed away.  The circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation by the Aurora Police Department. This is a devastating loss to Jason’s family and the Aurora Fire Department.  Firefighter Murphy has been a member of the Aurora Fire Department since February, 2003 and held the rank of Engineer. Our thoughts, our hearts, and our prayers go out to Jason’s family. The Aurora Fire Department is grieving the loss of a colleague and a great friend.

  • Robert Gift

    So sorry.
    Has a group of school students been crossing with their WALK signal, would Nale have run them down?
    Murphy is doing everything correctly, using the crosswalk with GREEN traffic signal or WALK signal.
    If sun is blinding you, you slow down to where you can see what is immediately ahead. Or STOP.
    You don’t continue blindly.
    Appears thathey listed Nale’s IQ as his age.

  • Opus the Poet

    “I was blinded by the sun” is not an excuse it is an admission of guilt. What it really says is “I am too important in my own mind to slow my vehicle to non-lethal speeds or to shield my eyes so I can see where I’m piloting 2 tons of instant death”. I don’t know why APD failed to lock the guy up for the protection of the community.

    • Ken Jackson

      You don’t know whay the police didn’t lock him up? Because he didn’t commit a crime. It is called an accident for a reason. This is a very sad situation for all involved. The driver wasn’t drinking, driving over the speed limit…he was taking his own daughter to school. I remember the sun that morning…I was blinded for seconds at a time too. Villianizing the driver will not bring Jason back .I am certain he and his family are suffering their own kind of hell for this too.

  • judy@healinghaiku

    This incident is tragic for everyone involved. Nale was driving his 11-year-old daughter to school and was traveling well below the speed limit (based on witness accounts). He was not driving aggressively or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was just taking his child to school on a very sunny morning. His children and family will be affected by this for the rest of their lives. My heart goes out to the families on both sides of this tragedy.

  • RC

    This was a tragic accident, for all involved. Mr. Nale is a single father of two children. He would never have hit, let alone, kill someone intentionally. How many times have we all been blinded, if even for a second, by the bright Colorado sun. I can assure you if Mr. Nale was able to trade places with Jason he would. He and his 11year old daughter will have to find a way to live with this terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the Murphy and Nale families.

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