36-year-old Braydon Nielsen of Washington, Washington County, was killed Tuesday near St. George. He, along with his triathlon club, were near milepost 5 on state Route 7 (Southern Parkway) heading west at around 8 p.m.
It was reported that a minivan heading in the same direction struck Nielson from behind, who was killed on impact. The driver of the minivan, 58-year-old Mark L. Mendenhall is cooperating with the police. Police say that they do not believe Mendenhall to have been impaired during the incident.
The question remains whether the minivan remained in the lane or if Nielson was too much in the way of traffic. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident but the sun setting at the time could’ve been a factor. Drivering west as the sun sets, could potentially make it difficult to see the road ahead.
The triathlon club was practicing tempo training, where each cyclist rides at his or her own pace. Nielsen was said to be at the back of the pack. Friends and fellow riders of Nielsen finished their ride when they realized that Nielsen had not made it down. When Duckworth, president of the Southern Utah Triathlon Club, along with others were devastated when they rode back to the scene of the accident.
Duckworth said, “A very special and inspirational person is no longer with us.”
Nielsen leaves behind a wife and four children.
Christensen and Hymas sends our condolences to the family of Braydon Nielsen and reminds all drivers to be cautious of bicyclists on the roads.
Image courtesy of Tony Fischer