Bicyclist in fatal crash identified

Sara S. Eustis was riding with a friend on Middle Waitsburg Road when she was struck Saturday.

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A Seattle woman was killed Saturday morning on Middle Waitsburg Road, officials said.

Sara S. Eustis, 61, of 11287 Marine View Drive, died at a Walla Walla hospital after being struck while riding her bicycle.

Eustis was in the area with her husband, both apparently avid cyclists, Capt. Barry Blackman of the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office said today. They, along with friends, rode out of town, the men taking one route and the women another.

Eustis and another woman were headed back to Walla Walla, pedaling south on Middle Waitsburg Road, when Melvin J. Bohleen of 300 Cherry St. in Dayton drove up behind the duo and attempted to navigate around them, Blackman said.

The roadway is paved with a "very narrow gravel shoulder." Initial reports indicate the women were biking side by side on what is essentially a straight stretch of road, he added.

Bohleen struck Eustis' bike, throwing her onto the hood of his car and then off into a ditch. She was wearing a helmet, Blackman said. The other cyclist was not injured.

Emergency responders got the call at 10:30 a.m.

There was no indication of driver impairment and no mention of oncoming traffic in the report, the captain noted.

An autopsy was scheduled for this morning, said Walla Walla County Coroner Richard Greenwood.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

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