Balto. Co. police identify cyclist fatally struck by car

April 07, 2010|By Brent Jones | Baltimore Sun reporter

Every year, Lawrence Bensky would ride his bicycle from Bel Air to Ocean City, a trek that included several challenges, none of which managed to slow down the longtime cyclist.

"There wasn't a hill he wouldn't climb and when in a group, he was usually the first one to the top. If he saw other cyclists on the road in front of him, he pushed himself to catch up," said Bensky's wife, Tami. "He loved his bike ... loved to ride."

Bensky was fatally struck by a car while riding Tuesday afternoon near Butler and Falls roads in Baltimore County. Bensky, who lived in the first block of Quarterhouse Court in Owings Mills, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 43.

According to the initial police investigation, Faith Frenzel, 64, of the 1900 block of Gravel Road in Hampstead was driving her 2001 Toyota Echo westbound on Butler Road about 4:30 p.m. when she struck Bensky's bike on the shoulder of the road. The bike became lodged in the front of the car. The car then collided with Joel Alan Wyman, who was also riding a bicycle, sending both cyclists off the road, police said.

Wyman, 45, of the 2200 block of Harmony Woods Road in Owings Mills, was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he was in serious condition.

Frenzel has not been charged in the collision, but police say they are continuing to investigate.

Bensky was a married father of two daughters, ages 7 and 3, and he worked as an engineer in a family-owned business, according to his sister-in-law, Sherry Bensky. A Randallstown native and University of Maryland, College Park graduate, Bensky took up cycling years ago after one of his five older brothers took up the sport. That brother, though, stopped riding after he was hit by a truck from behind, Sherry Bensky said.

"I think it was a release for him," Sherry Bensky said of her brother-in-law. "He was in excellent physical shape. It's just a great loss. I was very close with him, and he was a mentor to so many people. He was compassionate and had a good heart."

Family members say they had not heard from Frenzel.

In Maryland, since 1999, an average of eight people have been killed In Maryland annually in bicycle accidents, according to the State Highway Administration.

"Drivers need to give bicycle riders more space," Sherry Bensky said. "But we all really feel for her. For her to have to live with that, it's a horrible thing."

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