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September 19, 2018

Bicyclist suffers fatal injuries near Delaplane

Google Maps
The accident took place early Tuesday evening on Grove Lane, just west of Oak Hill Road.
A 52-year-old bicyclist suffered fatal injuries Tuesday evening while riding on a two-lane road near Delaplane.

Matthew P. Freivald, of Nokesville, died Tuesday night at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where a medical helicopter flew him from the accident scene on Grove Lane, according to State Trooper Daniel Garasimowicz.

But, state police don’t know what caused the accident and the cyclist’s serious “head trauma,” Trooper Garasmowicz said.

A passerby found Mr. Freivald in the ditch along the eastbound lane, just west of Oak Hill Road, and reported the accident at 6:27 p.m.

“Right now, we have no leads on how this happened,” Trooper Garasmowicz said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re hoping someone will come forward with information.”

The passerby found Mr. Freivald “still attached” to the bicycle with toe clips and pulled his feet from cycling shoes before attempting CPR, according to the trooper.

An ambulance arrived soon thereafter — as did Mr. Freivald’s wife, who turned back after he failed to catch up with her, Trooper Garasmowicz said.

The trooper speculated — but stressed that he does not know — that something protruding from a vehicle, such as a mirror, might have struck the cyclist. His dark green bicycle remained intact.

Mr. Freivald wore a white t-shirt, black helmet and black cycling shorts.

The accident took place just west of the Blue Vineyard and Barrel Oak wineries.

Anyone with information about the accident should call the state police office in Warrenton at 540-347-6200.

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Darwin awards · October 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm
A very sad day
BJ · September 21, 2018 at 9:45 am
Tragic and criminal if this was a hit-and-run. We often see bicyclists on our road and wish them safe travels! It's dangerous even for drivers of vehicles or anyone walking. Bright clothing is a MUST! It's Russian Roulette at the best of times.
ella82 · September 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm
A sign of our times. This is the second case that I have read about today involving a hit and run fatality, this bicyclist and the other man that was run over while lying in the road. In both cases the perpetrators kept on going. What an unbelievably cowardly thing to do...first to run over them regardless of being in the road or not..and the second is to keep on going when the victim may have survived if immediate attention had been given. One last point...bicyclists have the legal right to be on these roads and it makes no difference if it is a twisty single lane or I66 or the Skyline Drive. Many...many times I have been driving some of the most beautiful roads in this country only to be nearly killed by some beer drinking,Ram driving BIg Red who truly thinks that they have ever right to careen around the country roads at breakneck speed and kill whatever gets in their way...the animals most definitely. I guess they are just "Taking America Back". And these two fatalities today have paid the ultimate price for such thinking.
Helen Klopp · September 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm
What a terrible and tragic loss. Our community morns for his wife and family. We are so sorry. It’s time to have a real discussion about cyclists on Delaplanes winding beautiful roads. We wait sometimes for 15-20 minutes while large groups of cyclists ride side by side or single cyclists ride in the middle of the lane not allowing cars to pass. I have watched nervously while bikes refuse to move over and cars careen around them making it dangerous for everyone. In the past 5 years Delaplanes small roads have become filled with cyclists, wine tour vans and cars full of drunk people cruising vineyards and filling the roadside with trash. I have had to ask tourists not to use my private driveway for parking, picnicking and changing clothes. We all love this area but we need to take a serious look at the effects of all this growth on our roads and residents.
Al G · September 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm
Dear Driver,

You killed my friend, I am deeply saddened, hurt, and grieving Matt's loss. My feelings of loss is miniscule compared to the hurt and loss Matt's wife/now widow, and his children must be living through. Matt was a son to his parents, he was an uncle to nieces and nephews, He was a very, very good, honest man. Like you and all of us he had family and friends. So I ask you, if Matt was your husband, your dad, your son, your uncle or your brother, would you have been more careful? Would you have thought, I love Matt, I don't want to hurt him, I'm going to slow down and give him the space he needs for us both to safely share the road? You probably would have if he was your family or your friend. I'm a local cyclist with thousands of hours on the same roads. My mind has run though these very thoughts every time the 1% have not considered I have loved ones at home who expect me to walk in the door after my ride. I miss you Matt, Deb, we're just so very heartbroken....
Bonnie C. · September 20, 2018 at 1:22 pm
Oh I agree Tom - & for the most part cyclists do seem to be aware of their surroundings, vehicles, & that they are "sharing" the road, as most likely was the case with the victim here. But as you say, that "1%", whether it's the driver or the cyclist, can be dangerous.
Tom LaHaye · September 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm
Bonnie C., I hear you, but it seems this cyclist was doing things right. As a cyclist myself, I find 99% of drivers to be courteous, but that 1% can be dangerous if not downright threatening.
Bonnie C. · September 20, 2018 at 12:48 pm
This is horrible, & my heart goes out to the family. And it's outrageous that whoever caused this fled the scene. One can only feel that they know they were in the wrong, whether distracted by their phone or intoxicated or what.

That said - while it's easy to admonish drivers to "share the road" with other users, cyclists need to take some responsibility as well. While I drive very carefully on our winding country roads - whether or not there is anyone else around - I've lost count of how many times I've come up behind a group of cyclists riding 2,3, or even 4 abreast with absolutely no inclination of letting me (& the parade behind me pass). Haughty/indignant/entitled smiles passed back over their shoulders does very little to inclinate drivers to "share the road". I'm rarely if ever in a hurry, but I shudder to think what kind of road rage these cyclists bring out in those who may be less patient.

Rights to the road goes both ways.
Sonnenburg · September 19, 2018 at 8:57 pm
To the Freivald family --so very sorry for your loss!

To everyone else -- learn to share the road. Get off your cell phone when you're driving. Cyclists, joggers, walkers etc have every right to be out using these same roads.
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