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Car strikes tandem bike; one rider killed, other critical

From the News-Gazette:

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified the woman killed as Cindy C. Combs, 53, of the 2500 block of West Springfield Avenue, Champaign. Her husband, David Combs, 51, is listed in critical condition at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Champaign County sheriff’s Lt. Allen Jones said just after 4:30 p.m., the couple were riding their tandem bike south on County Road 500 E, also known as the Bondville Slab, just north of 1800 N, when they were hit from behind.

The driver of the southbound Honda Accord that hit them has been identified as Errol T. Maul, 31, of Tolono (2008 photo at right).

Here’s a map of the location of the accident (I removed the link because it was linking to the wrong address — my bad), which occurred Monday. There’s some speculation in the article about why the driver was unable to avoid the cyclists, but I’ll stay out of that until more facts are in. “Maul was issued a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident,” according to the article, and there was no evidence that he was impaired.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Combses. What a horrible tragedy.

UPDATE (3:25 p.m. 3/8/11): Mr. Maul appears to have a pretty clean driving and criminal record, at least among what can be easily searched online. Just a couple of speeding tickets, one of which was more than a decade ago.

Rob McColley contributed reporting to this article.

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