Accident on Midland Avenue kills bicyclist

A Lexington man was killed when he rode his bike into traffic and was hit by a car Wednesday.

Jason Baines, 41, died from multiple blunt-force trauma, the Fayette County Coroner’s Office said in a news release. He was pronounced dead at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital at 6:33 p.m.

The wreck happened about 20 minutes earlier at the intersection of Midland Avenue and Short Street, next to the Herald-Leader building.

Baines was not wearing a helmet and appeared to have suffered a severe head injury. He lay motionless as two police officers and several motorists who stopped to help performed CPR before an ambulance arrived.

Lexington police Lt. Chris Van Brackel said the cyclist was riding on Short Street toward Midland just before the wreck. Traffic in the right inbound lane of Midland was stopped at the time, but traffic in the left inbound lane was moving.

Witnesses told police the cyclist rode between two stopped cars, apparently trying to cross Midland to the sidewalk on the other side. A car in the left inbound lane could not stop in time to avoid him, Van Brackel said.

“It looks like the bicyclist is the one at fault,” he said. “This isn’t a crosswalk where he’s crossing, and for him to dart out from between two vehicles in front of the car, it looks like there’s no way that other driver could have done anything to avoid the crash.”

Tiffaney Wills, who was stopped in traffic on Short Street when the wreck occurred, said she heard the collision and saw the cyclist “go up in the air about 15 or 20 feet.”

Wills got out of her sport-utility vehicle and rushed to the man’s aid. She held his neck still while another motorist — an employee of the University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Clinic — performed chest compressions, she said. After a while, a nurse took over for Wills.

Another bystander brought blankets to cover the man, and a police officer tried to breathe air into the man’s lungs, she said.

Wills said she tried talking to the cyclist, but she got no response.

“The way it looked, it did not look good,” she said.

The damaged bike, some clothes Baines was carrying and a car’s side mirror lay in the street for more than an hour while the police department’s collision reconstruction unit investigated.

Lexington police Lt. Chris Van Brackel talks about a fatal accident that involved a bicyclist. Video by Josh Kegley