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Paralyzed Cyclist Dies In Ambulance Collision

BIRDSBORO, Pa. – A paralyzed bicyclist died Thursday on a rural two-lane road after crashing into the front of an oncoming ambulance, police said.

Steven B. Johnson, 49, was on board a hand-operated modified bicycle when he swerved in front of the ambulance, Exeter Township Police said. He died at the scene.

“Preliminarily it appears he just lost control, maybe going a little bit too fast for the turn and veered into the oncoming lane,” Officer Andrew Walbert said Friday.

Walbert said the crash did not appear to have been the fault of the driver of the Boyertown Advanced Life Support ambulance, which had recently dropped off a patient at a hospital.

The Reading Eagle said Johnson was a longtime bike racer who was partially paralyzed in a 1993 downhill race, and that he had received the new cycle recently as a gift from a foundation that promotes active lifestyles for the disabled.

The paper said Johnson kept pieces of his broken helmet from the earlier accident as a safety reminder, and police said Johnson was wearing a helmet at the time of the fatal crash.