A 88-year-old bicyclist who was struck by a pickup truck Friday in Goleta has died of his injuries, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Roman Paredes of Goleta was hit on Calle Real near San Mateo Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. Friday, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
Daniel Gruetzmacher, 33, of Goleta, was driving a GMC 2500 truck when he struck Paredes, who was riding a three-wheel bicycle.
Upon investigation, deputies determined that Gruetzmacher took his eyes off the road, which caused him to drift into the bicycle lane, Hoover said.
Alcohol, drugs or cell-phone use do not appear to be factors in the crash, she said.
Following the collision, Paredes was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries, Hoover said.
He was taken off life support on Saturday, she added.
Once the investigation is complete, the accident report will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office to determine if misdemeanor vehicular-manslaughter charges will be filed against Gruetzmacher, Hoover said.
The accident is a reminder of the dangers involved with driving distracted, Senior Deputy Jeff Farmer said.
“We have so many possible distractions in our vehicles that can cause us to look away from the roadway,” Farmer said. “As we see here with this collision, it doesn’t take much time of taking your eyes off the road before something of this nature can happen.”