Cyclist’s death results in $108 fine
NEW MILFORD — A town resident has been ordered to pay a fine after being found guilty of making an improper turn that resulted in the 2014 death of a cyclist.
John Kimberly, 23, will pay a $108 fine for the death of Dwight Hipp, according to the Bantam Court Clerk’s Office
The guilty verdict was rendered Nov. 19 in state Superior Court in Bantam. Kimberly was originally charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.
A call to Kimberly’s home in New Milford Friday did not reach the family. Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Knight in the Bantam prosecutor’s office was not available for comment.
Hipp’s bicycle ran into Kimberly’s 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck on Chesnut Land Road about 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, 2014, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. He sustained serious injuries and was transported to New Milford Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The collision occurred as Kimberly, driving westbound, was making a left turn into his family’s farm. Kimberly told the officer at the scene that he did not see the cyclist and “was already turning when he heard the bicycle impact the pickup on the passenger side,” according to court document. The pickup sustained dent damage to the right door and frame and the passenger-side window was shattered.
According to the affidavit, Hipp, 57, had negotiated a right curve and was riding downhill near the center line in the eastbound lane when he hit the side of the pickup. The descent from the top of the hill to the approximate point of impact was about 195 on a steep grade, the investigation found.
Both the front and rear tires of Hipp’s 2012 Specialized Secteur bike were “in poor condition,” while the brakes appeared to be in good condition and working properly, according to police.
The primary cause of death was found to be the left turn made by Kimberly. It is unknown if he used his left turn signal before executing the turn, police said.
“It is believed the speed of the bicycle is a factor in the crash, but the evidence was not sufficient to support that,” the affidavit reads. Given the elevation of the hill Hipp was riding down and height of the next hill, the investigating officer concluded, he might have been building momentum to ascend the next hill.
Hipp was remembered after the accident as an experienced bike rider by Tom O’Brien, president of the New Milford River Trail Association. Hipp had joined the association’s team in the National Bike Challenge.
“He logged many, many hours for us,” O’Brien said at the time. “He clearly was an experienced rider.”
“Because of Dwight we took No. 1 in the state (in 2013),” Arasim said. “I think this is sad all around. I feel badly for everyone, the Kimberly family as well as the Hipp family. It’s a terrible thing that happened, just terribly sad.”
Kimberly is the grandson of the later Howard G. Kimberly, who established a family farm on Chestnut Land Road in 1955.