UPDATED: Bicyclist killed following Silverado Trail crash

Roadway closed for two hours near Calistoga
2013-08-06T14:22:00Z 2013-08-13T15:22:02Z UPDATED: Bicyclist killed following Silverado Trail crashKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
August 06, 2013 2:22 pm  • 

A 50-year-old bicyclist from San Francisco died Tuesday afternoon at St. Helena Hospital from his injuries he suffered in a collision with a car on the Silverado Trail south of Calistoga, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At about 1:40 p.m. Thomas Battat was riding his bicycle on the right shoulder, traveling southbound on the Trail, when, for unknown reasons, he drifted into the path of a southbound car, CHP Officer Anna Paulson said.

The driver of the 2000 Chevy Impala, Alvaro Ayala, 39, of Napa, was not injured, she said.

Battat was transported with major injuries by American Medical Response ambulance to St. Helena Hospital, where he died, according to the CHP.

According to fire officials, Battat had been riding with a cycling companion.

Both lanes of the Silverado Trail were blocked south of Calistoga for almost two hours as first-responders attended to the collision near the Napa County corporation yard.

Motorists took detours at Larkmead and Dunaweal lanes. The roadway reopened about 3:30 p.m.

Battat is the second Napa County road fatality since Sunday morning. On Sunday, a driver was killed at about 4:45 a.m. on Highway 29 in south Napa County after he crashed his black Toyota Camry near south Kelly Road, according to the CHP.

Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart said the autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. His identity needs to be confirmed using dental records. Then his name may be released Thursday, she said.

This story was updated at 9 p.m. Tuesday to clarify information about the Highway 29 fatality.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

    Report Abuse
    VNYD DUC - August 06, 2013 5:29 pm
    A horrible horrible needless tragedy. How many more cyclists out enjoying our valley need to lose their lives before the Vine Trail gets the support it deserves? Mr. McMinn's group is doing an admiral job but the various cities and County needs to step up and make our showcase roads worthy and safe for all modes of transportation. Dedicated bike lanes set apart from the roadway is probably the only way cyclists and others will stop being needlessly killed. I for one will no longer cycle on Silverado Trail. Too many drivers too distracted with sightseeing and cell phones for it to be safe.
  2. calisa
    Report Abuse
    calisa - August 06, 2013 8:47 pm
    Bike lane or not he "drifted into the path of a oncoming car"...so would a bike lane have really prevented this? I was under the assumption bike lane or not bikers were to remain on the aide of the road. How many actually do this? I've seen them in the middle of the lane, and with no regard for auto traffic behind them of even worse driving to and from the lake with clearly no bike lane and turning a corner to find a biker in the middle of the lane. No where for them to go, only way to get around them is to cross the double yellow. There are some roads that bikers should just not travel...plain and simple. Dangerous for all.
    Report Abuse
    CONSTRUCTION PRO - August 07, 2013 7:34 am
    Fact is the road, except freeways with minimum speed limits are open to everyone. Just because a car goes faster doesn't mean they have to. Slow down, take an extra SECOND or two and wait for a clear way around the cyclist. Cyclists have nothing but regard for traffic, all around them. If you actually thought, just for a second you would realize cylists are only on their bikes a fraction of the time and are driving cars, etc the rest. We know both sides. You are probably one of those people that can't push a cart in a grocery store without bumping into, or cutting off another cart! If there were more bike lanes, a wider space for bikes, when there was a situation were they drifted there would be ample space to do so, cause it happens, wind, vehicle debris, glass, rocks, etc... Also, don't group cyclists with bike riders who lost their licenses due to DUI, or a tourist with coffee or a wine bottle in hand enjoying their vacation.
  4. glenroy
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    glenroy - August 07, 2013 10:17 am
    I remember ol Pete at the Planning Commission, or City Council.. heck it could have been the supervisors being 30 years or more ago… anyway Pete was explaining he wanted to do bike tours up the valley stopping at the wineries along the way …then ride back ….when asked about the ‘liability premium’ Pete said.. they were ‘ridiculous’…and it still is.
    It’s gone from the occasional valley rider to the obstante in your face riders by the thousands against cars and trucks by the millions of trips….they should designated bike paths along the river one way up and one way down….and instead ridge hiking paths that will get 1/100th the use cut path along valley floor edges for bicyclists…but not on a highway…not on 121 where a dozen or more accidents occurred every year …on a road barely wide enough for a car to pass another car...
    We all end up paying for this in our cost of insurance and every year it gets worse...
    Report Abuse
    DRIVE BY OPINION - August 07, 2013 12:12 pm
    well put Glenroy
  6. vocal-de-local
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    vocal-de-local - August 07, 2013 3:18 pm
    Tourists biking down Silverado stand out. They are slower, more wobbly and unsure of themselves. I feel a little nervous passing them but on Silverado, with 55 mph traffic coming up behind you, it's hardly wise slowing down too much and it's dangerous venturing into the other lane.

    I'm guessing that bicycle rental companies forewarn their bicyclists about double riding on Silverado because I don't see a lot of that. I think they fail to forewarn about the other dangers of Silverado, such as distracted drivers traveling at high speed and also being distracted by cell phone usage while bicycling. This is not a road to be distracted on, regardless of transportation mode.

    Silverado Trail is a poor road for bicyclists. Let's admit it and do something about it.
  7. PACO
    Report Abuse
    PACO - August 07, 2013 9:41 pm
    I wish that the silverado trail bike tours would encourage riders to be in single file on the shoulder of the road. I've observed twice this week not only two but three across, that's two in the shoulder and one riding on the white line. The traffic was slowed while the outside bicyclist drifted in and out of the road for some reason? While this is happening there seems to be no CHP patroling Silverado Trail for safety concerns.
  8. greglynn
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    greglynn - August 08, 2013 6:10 pm
    Thomas was a classmate of mine at Town School for Boys class of 1977 in San Francisco. While I have not seen him in decades I can tell you he was a first rate person and if he drifted in the lane my guess is it was a wind gust or had a health issue happen while on the bicycle. Obit here http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-battat&pid=166325399&referrer=0&preview=True
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