Cyclist seriously injured after attempt to bike through Zion Tunnel

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, Zion National Park, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

SPRINGDALE – A cyclist was seriously injured Friday after crashing in the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.

At Approximately 4:30 p.m., Friday, a group of eight bicyclists from Salt Lake City attempted to illegally bicycle through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel in Zion National Park. Two of the bicyclists apparently hit the tunnel wall and crashed.

One, a 51-year-old male from West Jordan, suffered significant head trauma and was transported to the hospital by the Zion Park Ambulance. The second cyclist ran into the tunnel wall, sideswiping it and tearing his shirt. He refused medical care.

It is illegal to bicycle through the 1.1 mile tunnel.

To ensure the safety of bicyclists and that of passing traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians must be transported through the 1.1 mile, unlit narrow tunnel in a motor vehicle.

The bicyclists were part of a larger group of 12 who had arranged for a shuttle to take them to the other side, which is proper protocol. Apparently eight people in the group, including two minors, decided to ride through instead.

“As soon as we rounded the corner, it was like pitch black, and that’s where it happened,” said one of the bicyclists near the back of the group. “He was just lying there. They were in a bad spot, and only two of the bikers had little flashers. I thought, ‘someone else is going to get killed.’”

The biker turned around and went back to the tunnel entrance to stop traffic from entering too fast.

He said, “That was my first thought cause I didn’t want anybody else to get hurt… it was really stupid what we’d done… I think we all learned our lesson and we now have to pay the price.”

“I just can’t believe that we put ourselves in that kind of situation.” another biker said.

Park rangers issued violation notices to the group. The condition of the victim is unknown at this time.

Submitted by Zion National Park

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Cave, Zion National Park, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News
The Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, Zion National Park, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

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32 Comments

  • Glen Barrett February 22, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    It seems that a lot of bike riders don’t think the rules are for them. A couple of days ago we went through the tunnel but on SR9 two were riding in the traffic lane with a 6 foot bike lane to there right. They didn’t even try to move over. But going through the tunnel was a stupid move on their part, where is the leadership in these groups?

    • SoUtahBoy February 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Bicyclist need to pay a registration fee and taxes just like the rest of us! They need to have a unique, visible, front & rear license plate so offending cyclist, who do ignore the law, can be reported.

      • Bender February 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Can we also a rear bumper for mandatory stickers – “Don’t tread on me”, “NRA”, “Obummer” and “McCain/Palin”.

        • SoUtahBoy February 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm

          I mentioned nothing political. I just identified idiotic behavior, which you obviously feel compelled to defend.

          • Bender February 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

            Your “Don’t Tread on Me” icon gave you away as a Tea Party member in need of harassment.

      • Lady K February 25, 2014 at 12:09 am

        And have insurance, if they want to be on the road they need to pay for it the way everybody else does.

  • SoUtahBoy February 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I know I’m going to get some negative feedback on this, but I am so darn tired of the stupidity of bicyclist! We are talking about adults who posses less situational awareness than that which we teach to our children! Apparently the sexy body suits and colorful gear are more protective than temple gowns or ballistic vest? I really, really, do not want to see anybody harmed, but I fear more of this kind of bad news is inevitable.

    • Bender February 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      So this shocking behavior by rampant, renegade terrorist bicyclists upsets you more than the stupidity of the average motorist? People don’t get any smarter, or more considerate, when they are on a bicycle than they are when driving a car. The difference is that stupidity on a bicycle generally results in only injury to the cyclist. 5,000 pounds of cold hard steel at 50mph in the hands of a texting teenager on a residential road is the issue that should upset you.
      .
      Repress your butt-hurt when you have to delay your trip to the convenience store by 10 secs to wait to pass a bicyclist.

  • doof February 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    It amazes me that we don’t see many more cyclists injured than we do.

  • Tom February 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Why would they even attempt that without proper lighting? Thats like going into the Lava Caves in Snow Canyon without bringing your own light. I hope the person is okay but I think a little common sense is badly needed in todays world.

  • Guy February 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I don’t understand cyclists. It’s like they feel that they are better than everyone and above the law. I live on hwy 18 and every weekend witness these elitist super stars ignoring the law riding two abreast with no regard for the vehicles that could at any second kill them because of there own lawless stupidity. Bike lanes, stop signs, tunnels…they can do whatever they please. It’s not the minority of riders either as they will say.

    • lynnhowlyn February 23, 2014 at 6:09 am

      I also live along Hwy 18 and absolutely agree.
      Especially when along the lower section (between the upper end of Snow Canyon and Red Hills parkway) there’s a nice wide (and very recently resurfaced) bike path that’s about 25 feet off the pavement and so many of these ‘super cyclists” simply refuse to use it.
      I’m told it’s because the bike path is not convenient, it’s “too much up and down” and “we can ride faster along the highway”.
      Well … EXCUSE ME!

      • Bender February 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        “Well … EXCUSE ME!” <- Phrase annoying, tired and worn out. Further usage NOT recommended.

      • joanna February 24, 2014 at 6:05 am

        Don’t worry about Bender, Lynn. He’s just butt-hurt because he’s one of the offending cyclists that illegally rides 2 abreast.

        • Bender February 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

          Ouch! Tight burn Joanna. I’ll be in my bedroom sobbing if anyone needs me.

  • lynnhowlyn February 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    No sympathy for the “spandex junkies” who disobey laws – nor for others who knowingly break laws as this group apparently did.

  • Don February 23, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Its funny how these biker dont have to follow rules of the road..they run stop signs.lights dont move over for faster traffic something need to be done with the stupid idiot..

    • joanna February 24, 2014 at 6:07 am

      I know! I almost had one come over the hood of my car one morning when he flew thru a stop sign. Scared me to death.

  • enufsaid February 23, 2014 at 7:25 am

    I work all over Washington county from enterprise to silver reef it astounds me with some of these bikers is how many times they blow right threw stop signs I can count about 5 a week that do this few of the times there has been a patrol car right by me and does nothing it is not for my sake but the safety of the biker just makes me wonder would I actually feel bad if one of these times the biker is gonna get hit provably won’t stay safe spandex junkies we all have families we want to go home to with out the guilt of you not be able to go home to yours because us drivers ran ya over foe not obeying the simple rules of the road

    • Bender February 24, 2014 at 9:39 am

      So what I’m hearing in these comments is that it’s mostly about the spandex? Hold on, I’ve got this.
      .
      “HEAR ME oh bicycling brothers and sisters! Throw off your stretchy pants and clothe thyselfs more to the liking of your more faithful brethern and sistern who endevour to keep themselves modest at all times so that they may fully cover their paunch and flub.”

  • Snickers February 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

    It’s a basic: RULES ARE MADE FOR REASONS. They blatantly chosen to break the rule. What can you expect? I’m so sorry for the tragedy, but REALLY!!

  • Bacon February 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Any one else ever make a poor judgement call any time in your life?
    Before we start hurling stones at these guys, lets examine ourselves.
    This was a painful lesson to learn. It almost cost him his life and could have been a lot worse.
    I am just saying that it is not just cyclists who make poor decisions (LYNNHOWLYN ,DON, GUY, TOM,GLEN, DOOF, BACON, SOUTAHBOY)

  • Spokes February 23, 2014 at 9:33 am

    The attitudes of many people in the STG area towards cyclists and runners on the road is embarrassing. When I approach a cyclist or runner on the road it only takes a few seconds to safely negotiate my vehicle around them. Not a big deal at all. I have too many other things going on in my life to allow their behavior to bother me. For those who cannot handle them being on the road, I have a little advice. You may have some serious character flaws and defects that need to be examined if you are allowing other people and their activities to frustrate you as much as I see expressed here. It’s probably not just cyclists and runners either. You’re probably just mad and disgruntled all the time anyways.

    • Bender February 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      That’s a chill attitude brother. Carry on.

  • Jeri Orr February 23, 2014 at 9:41 am

    There are people that choose to do stupid things in every thing we do. I don’t feel it is fair to bash on all bicyclists because of those few that break the rules. I am a bicyclist and we are safe and abide by the law. You are always going to find people that make stupid choices in life but its the individuals not that they are bicylists. There are People that make stupid choices driving cars etc, its the person that makes that choice its not that they ride a bike. Bicyclists that do abide the laws don’t deserve to be bashed on just because of those that choose not to. Thanks.

  • Bub February 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    The fact is that this is not a very safe area for cyclists–not many bike lanes and high speed limits. You bikers really are taking your lives in your hands when you hop on a highway where cars are going 65mph coming up behind you. I really hope I never get in an accident with one–a person can be ruined in civil court by their survivors.

    • ABETTERWAY February 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Oh dear, this is rather disturbing that someone fears “being ruined in civil court” is more worrisome than the tragedy of maybe killing someone—really? Think about what some of you are saying – do you really think it’s OK to cause the death or serious injury to someone because you don’t think they belong on the same road as you? 90% of ALL cyclists ride respectively and 90% of all motorists drive respectively. It’s that 10% on BOTH sides that causes problems. Please, can’t we just try to get along – to SHARE THE ROAD, it’s really not that hard.

      • Bub February 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        You misunderstand. I’m assuming with my comment that the accident will be the fault of the cyclist. AND OF COURSE WE HOPE IT NEVER HAPPENS! Some of these cyclists are downright reckless with how they use the road. IT IS NOT SAFE TO BLOCK A LANE OF A 65MPH HIGHWAY IN YOUR LITTLE SPANDEX SUITS. PLEASE CYCLISTS GROW A BRAIN!

  • Betty February 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I wonder if this was a Boy Scout outing. Sounds like something the LDS Boy Scout program usually does. “Calling” leaders that really don’t want to do but feel pressured by their bishops to “play the role”.

    • stoptoleratingstupidity February 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Your hatred is obvious. Boy Scouts are supported by the Church but it is not exclusive. But go ahead with your hatred since it is obvious

    • Bender February 24, 2014 at 9:23 am

      “I wonder if this was a Boy Scout outing.”
      .
      Nope, but keep pitching. Please try to keep it over the plate next time. You hit an outfielder with that one.

    • Mean momma March 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Wow! It was super neat how you managed to bring the LDS faith into this conversation! Pat yourself on the back for me BETTY!

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