Police identify motorcyclist killed in Ridge Road accident

07/01/2013 12:41 PM

07/01/2013 12:43 PM

Police have identified the man involved in the fatal motorcycle accident at Ridge Road and Westport as Stuart Schowalter, 43, of Wichita.

Schowalter was traveling south on Ridge Road on Saturday at about 8:10 a.m. He was following a truck pulling a trailer full of lawn equipment when he pulled into the inside lane to pass.

A 55-year-old Wichita man in a minivan was waiting for the truck to turn when he pulled away from the stop sign into the road. Schowalter struck the side of the minivan. He was transported to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis with critical injuries and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

It appears the driver of the minivan was unable to see the motorcycle behind the truck, Wichita police Lt. Joe Schroeder said.

Police are waiting on a toxicology report, but don’t suspect any impairment contributed to the accident.

Schroeder offered a word of caution to drivers and motorcyclists.

“Keep in mind that when you’re behind other vehicles, the traffic you’re coming up on may not see you because their field of vision may be obscured,” he said. “This case had tragic results but the reality is we see it every day in this town.

“I ask that the riders be aware and ask cars to take that extra time to look and make sure you’re clear at stop signs.”

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