Debra Miller's Ghost Bike -- Stillwater, Oklahoma
Posted by: sshelle
N 36° 06.049 W 097° 12.939
14S E 660622 N 3996604
Quick Description: A bicycle accident in August 2010 led to the creation of rumble strips along that highway in December 2010; driver was not DUI or texting.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 3/18/2012 8:11:00 PM
Waymark Code: WME0WF
From the local paper (Stillwater NewsPress--Stillwater, OK) on 8/16/2010: Debra Miller, 56, died when the truck hit her while she traveled on the shoulder of State Highway 51 about four miles west of Stillwater. Edmond resident James Michael Hazzard, 19, was driving a 2006 Ford F150 west on S.H. 51 just west of Hackelman Road. The sun glared into his eyes, and as he adjusted his sunglasses, the truck drifted onto the shoulder, according to a report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The truck struck a Ruby Pro 10 speed bike Miller was driving east on the shoulder. Miller was thrown about 15 feet, according to OHP. She was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center, where she died at 5:03 p.m.
From the Stillwater NewsPress on December 15, 2010:
A driver accused of hitting and killing a bicycle rider on State Highway 51 west of Stillwater earlier this year has pleaded no contest to negligent homicide. James Michael Hazzard, 20, of Edmond, was charged in the death of Debra Miller of Stillwater. He pleaded no contest Tuesday in Payne County District Court.Hazzard was driving a pickup truck west on S.H. 51 when he struck Miller, who was riding east on the westbound shoulder. Hazzard told Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers the truck drifted onto the shoulder when he adjusted his sunglasses. Miller died at about 5 p.m. Aug. 15, about two hours after the collision. Hazzard was not injured. Blood samples taken after the wreck showed Hazzard was not intoxicated. Phone records showed he was not texting, District Attorney Rob Hudson said in September. Special Judge Michael Stano deferred sentencing and judgment for one year, but required Hazzard to pay $20,000 in restitution by Jan. 3. The restitution will go to Miller’s family.
Hazzard must also pay $1,300 in court fines and complete an accident avoidance course, a life skills class and 100 community service hours.
Finally, from the December 29, 2010 issue of the Stillwater NewsPress:
The guidelines for highway rumble strips — those pavement ridges on the shoulder that alert drivers when they’ve drifted off the road — have been changed, due in part to the death of a Stillwater bicyclist in August. That’s why rumble strips were installed along State Highway 51 from Stillwater to Interstate 35 earlier this month instead of last summer when the highway was resurfaced, Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, said. The installation of rumble strips there was delayed while the Oklahoma Department of Transportation examined best practices of bicycle-friendly states and formed a task force to address rumble strips. Several cyclists sat on the task force. Williams said constituents asked him to help protect bicyclists after Debra Miller died. Miller, 56, died Aug. 15 after she was hit by a pickup while she rode along S.H. 51 west of Stillwater. The resurfacing project was underway and the shoulder was not marked at the time of the wreck, Williams said. James Hazzard, who was driving the pickup that hit Miller, pleaded no contest to negligent homicide earlier this month. Williams contacted ODOT officials, who researched the rumble-strip policies of other states and formed the task force. He said it was important that the rumble strips be done as best as possible along S.H. 51 because of the high volume of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. “Rumble-strips are two-fold,” he said. “They’re there to protect the motorists and keep them from going off the edge of the road, but they’re also to give a heads-up to pedestrians and bicyclists and give them a safe area to ride in and a warning when somebody is coming.” Rumble strips 6 inches wide were installed everywhere the shoulder measures more than 36 inches along S.H. 51 from Stillwater to I-35. They are 6 inches from the outside lane marker. There’s a 5-foot long break in the rumble strip every 15 feet to allow bicyclists to get around cars on the shoulder or cross the highway without rolling over the ridges. Those dimensions are the new specifications for all rumble strips that will be installed on ODOT projects around the state, Williams said. Rumble strips are laid along all ODOT resurfacing projects, as long as the shoulder is wide enough, spokesman Cole Hackett said.
Age of victim: 56
Name of the victim: Debra Miller
Date of the accident: 8/15/2010
Accident resulted in a fatality: yes
News Article Web Page: [Web Link]
Memorial Web Page: Not listed
It is preferable to log the location if the ghost bike is still there. If you want to note any personal experiences around bike safety you are welcome to do so, or provide a memorial for the victim.