RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - A Community Service Officer who was driving a Riverside County sheriff's patrol car struck a 79-year-old bicyclist in Rancho Mirage Wednesday morning after failing to yield to the oncoming bicycle.
Deputies said the CSO was driving eastbound on Frank Sinatra Drive, approaching Thompson Road/Morningside Drive, at 7:50 a.m..
Forrest Albright, a 79-year-old from Palm Desert, was riding a Trek bicycle, in the bicycle lane, westbound on Frank Sinatra Drive as he approached the same intersection.
The CSO began making a left turn from Frank Sinatra onto Thompson Road when he failed to yield to the bicycle, according to the sheriff's department. The front of the Trek struck the right front of the Ford Crown Victoria, knocking Albright and the bicycle to the ground.
Albright was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries. He was wearing a helmet.
The CSO wasn't hurt in the collision. Alcohol and drugs weren't factors in the crash, deputies said.
The incident is still under investigation. Authorities said there is no left green arrow to turn onto Thompson Road and drivers must yield to oncoming traffic when they have a green light.
The issue over not having a green arrow to turn left happens quite a bit around the Coachella Valley. One woman recently started a petition to increase safety at Dinah Shore Drive and Crossley Road due to the same concern over drivers not properly yielding to oncoming traffic.