Dylan Mitchell Identified as Cyclist Killed by Recology Truck

Categories: bikes

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Medical authorities have say it was 21-year-old Dylan Mitchell who was killed yesterday morning as he was cycling through the city's Mission District.

According to police, Mitchell, a Clayton resident, was riding eastbound on 16th Street toward Van Ness when a Recology garbage truck, driving parallel to Mitchell, took a right turn onto Van Ness, hitting the victim.

Mitchell was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Police say Mitchell was riding at a high rate of speed when he collided with the rear of the truck. Witnesses say the driver dragged Mitchell briefly until bystanders alerted him. He stopped and reportedly cooperated with police.

Mitchell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mitchell's mother, Julie, told the Chron that her son was on his way to work at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers when he died.

Recology officials issued a statement yesterday after the accident:

"SFPD responded and took control of the accident scene. They are conducting a thorough investigation and interviewing witnesses. Recology staff responded immediately and we are cooperating fully with police investigators.Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to family members of the cyclist who died in this morning's accident."

Here's where the accident occurred:

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rmajora topcommenter

The "high rate of speed" is relevant because the city's Collision Report tells us that reckless, unsafe behavior by cyclists is responsible for half of their own injury accidents. Sounds like Mitchell was going too fast behind the truck and couldn't stop when it turned.

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/rtraffic/documents/Collision_report_2010_2011_000.pdf (see page 25)

The moral of the story: riding a bike in SF is unsafe and never really will be safe. City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition are overselling cycling as if it didn't have inherent dangers.


he was so young,  that is always sad. and its horrifying. 

and i concur with opsuthepoet, the helmet issue is moot here.  and i wonder why the reference to the "high rate of speed" as well, which is quite subjective. it really makes me sad that this is the focus for the mainstream news.


I'm reading multiple reports that had the cyclist impact point just in front of the rear tires, which is technically the rear of the truck since it is behind the transverse centerline of the vehicle, it is not the same thing as running into the back of the truck. Also the cyclist and his bike were dragged for almost a block. The cyclist suffered massive blunt trauma to the chest and would have died regardless of what happened to his head, making the helmet question moot.


This is a tragedy, and one that could have been avoided.  The message cyclists, like myself, should take away from this is that had Dylan passed the garbage truck on the left-hand side he would still be alive today, helmet or no helmet.

My deepest condolences to Mr. Mitchell's friends and loved ones.  And to all cyclists: don't depend on a helmet to save your life, please remember to ride safely and defensively.

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