UPD: Teen distracted when she hit bicyclist
Published: November 14, 2013 11:20AM
Updated: November 15, 2013 01:28PM

Investigators believe a 17-year-old girl who veered into the path of an Emigration Canyon bicyclist Wednesday, critically injuring him, was distracted.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said Thursday that the investigation was ongoing, but it did not appear the girl was on her cellphone at the time.

“It appears she was just looking around, maybe at the scenery and didn’t realize” she had drifted into the bicyclist’s path until it was too late, Hoyal said.

Joseph Spataro, 35, of Cottonwood Heights, was conscious and communicative after he was struck while pedaling up-canyon and eastbound near 4200 East at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The teen was westbound when she crossed the center line and plowed into Starto.

Starto remained in critical condition Thursday with head injuries, though his vital signs had been stabilized, Hoyal said.

Hoyal said the investigation will be turned over to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office when it concludes. The girl was interviewed by police following the accident, then released.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims