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Newport Beach : Police Seek to Identify Cyclist Injured in Fall

Police late Sunday were trying to identify a bicyclist who suffered critical head injuries when he swerved to avoid another cyclist and fell down a steep hill on the Upper Newport Bay bike path.

The unidentified man was unconscious and undergoing surgery at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, Newport Beach Police Officer Michael Morrison said.

The second cyclist, Lola Reif, 58, of Garden Grove, was treated for abrasions to the left knee and hand, Morrison said.

The accident occurred about 12:50 p.m. Sunday on Back Bay Drive near East Bluff. Reif was riding her 12-speed bicycle uphill on Back Bay Drive, Morrison said. The unidentified man was riding his three-speed bike in the opposite direction.

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“They swerved to avoid one another and they both fell. It’s still unclear whether they actually collided,” Morrison said.

The man, who was not wearing protective headgear, apparently fell head-first on the steep, paved road.

Morrison said they were having great difficulty identifying the man, who carried only a set of keys and rode an unlicensed bike.

He is decribed as in his 30s with black hair, medium height and medium build. He was wearing shorts, a casual shirt, running shoes and possibly a floppy tennis hat found near the crash scene.

Police also were scanning bike paths throughout the area for an unclaimed car the man may have parked alongside the road before starting his ride. Anyone with information was asked to call Newport Beach police at (714) 644-3745.


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