A pair of athletes riding along Chef Menteur Highway in an apparent late tune-up before Sunday’s Ironman endurance race in the city were struck from behind Friday morning by an eastbound driver, killing one bicyclist and sending the other to the hospital in serious condition.
Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard’s office withheld the identity of the 36-year-old man who was killed in the accident, pending notification of his family.
Ironman — the company that runs the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 swim, ride and run event, which started at South Shore Harbor and ended in Armstrong Park — issued a statement.
“We have learned that a group of cyclists were struck by a car on the Chef Highway. We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our athletes, scheduled to participate in this Sunday’s triathlon, has passed while another is critically injured. Our sympathy and thoughts are with all who have been affected by this tragic event,” the statement said.
According to police, a white Chevy Cruze “for reasons unknown” rear-ended the two cyclists at about 10:15 a.m. on the eastbound side of the highway.
No charges have been filed against the driver, and the investigation is continuing, police said.
The surviving bicyclist is 40 years old.
Chef Menteur Highway, also known as U.S. 90, was closed to traffic in both directions until the afternoon.