FLAGSTAFF, AZ – A weekend event in downtown Flagstaff that was supposed to highlight bike safety and awareness turned into a memorial after a tow truck driver from California ran a red light and struck a group of cyclists Friday evening on May 28th, 2021. One woman was killed, and several others were injured.
Hours after the collision, community members gathered at Flagstaff City Hall to show support for the victims and grieve the loss of 29-year-old Joanna Wheaton. She was killed when Normand Cloutier, 58, plowed into a group of bicyclists who had just set out on a ride.
Wheaton was a Flagstaff resident and graduate of Northern Arizona University. She served as a community representative on the city’s Housing Commission and organized Flag Stats, a data-driven initiative that documents local issues, including evictions.
Shimoni says a citywide transportation plan will soon be released for public review; part of the proposal will include separate bike lanes. Several GoFundMe campaigns have been set up to assist the victims and their families, while many Flagstaff businesses are donating a percentage of sales to the effort.
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Joanna Wheaton. Our best wishes for swift and full recoveries for the injured.
Richard Traulsen of Begam Marks & Traulsen has been retained by the family of one of the victims. We are already at work collecting evidence, taking witness statements, and ensuring that evidence in the possession of Mr. Clouteir’s employer is preserved. As a professional commercial truck driver, Mr. Clouteir’s failure to obey a traffic signal is particularly troubling. If you have photographs, videos, or other information regarding this crash, please contact Mr. Traulsen at 602-254-6071 or email@example.com. If you are in need of representation regarding this crash or others involving bicycles and/or commercial semi-trucks, please contact us.