The California Highway Patrol reported that a bicyclist died Friday morning, March 29, at about 10:35 a.m. after being struck along U.S. 6 and Chalfant Loop Road, about 12 miles northeast of Bishop, California.
A 76-year-old driver from Hammil Valley, Calif., told CHP that she was traveling on U.S. 6 about 50 mph in her Chevrolet Impala when the bicyclist unexpectantly turned in front of her car. The Impala hit the bicyclist, who died. Information on the identity of the bicyclist was withheld pending notification of next of kin, and then later identified as Carne Lowgren of Chalfant.
Lowgren was a well-known local personality in Inyo and Mono counties. According to The Inyo Register, where he worked as a columnist for several years, he was known for his sharp wit, musicianship, poetry, and as an avid outdoorsman. His “Uncommon Sense” column, which covered a wide-ranging eclectic commentary on social, political and cultural topics, appeared in the Tuesday editions of the Register and he was well-known to the newspaper’s readers throughout the Eastern Sierra. Lowgren also wrote articles that have appeared in Backpacker and Rock & Ice magazines.
According to Terrance Vestal, the Managing Editor at The Inyo Register, the staff first heard of the accident over the emergency scanner in their office in Bishop not realizing that it was Lowgren whose name was being withheld. When they later found out, they were devasted, as were so many others in the Bishop/Chalfant area familiar with Lowgren.
Lowgren was 65 and had retired from the local CalTrans offices. He told many of his friends that he was looking forward to spending time with his beloved wife, Deborah, traveling and becoming more involved in the community.
CHP officer Mark Aukee was interviewed by The Inyo Register for an article published on Tuesday, April 2. The officer was one of those responding to the accident scene. He told the newspaper that Lowgren was riding his bicycle southbound on Highway 6, towards Bishop. According to driver of the car, she says that she saw him, and slowed and moved over several feet to give him room. She went on to say that Lowgren suddenly turned in front of her car and she could not avoid hitting him.
o arrests were made as a result of the crash and the driver of the Chevy Impala was not injured.