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Erik Lie-Nielsen. Photo courtesy of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Originally published: 2011-07-08 11:33:32
Last modified: 2011-07-08 14:06:10

Grizzly biker killed in collision

A cyclist competing in The Grizzly was killed Friday morning when he lost control of his bicycle and hit an oncoming car, said Trooper Ben Young of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Erik O. Lie-Nielsen, 35, of Winston-Salem, was traveling northwest on Spanish Oak Road in Avery County when he lost control, crossed the center line and struck a Subaru traveling the opposite direction, Young said. Lie-Nielsen was traveling about 40 mph according to his bike speedometer, he said.
Lie-Nielsen suffered a head injury in the collision and died at the scene.
The accident happened only a few miles into the race, which was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 221 and N.C. 105 in Linville.
The course travels for about three and a half miles before riders turn left onto Spanish Oak Road, according to the course description. The accident happened about two miles past that turn near Trim Branch Road in a downhill section that included a curve, Young said.
The driver of the Subaru, Anita K. Watson of Newland, will not be cited, he said.
Young said he was not sure whether the rider was competing in the full metric century or the 30-mile race.
Lie-Nielsen was a physician and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest University.