July 7, 2011 in City

Heart attack kills injured cyclist

66-year-old was still in rehab from hit-and-run accident
By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Dennis Widener is pictured June 29 in Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center after being a victim of a hit-and-run accident. He died Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

Information sought

Anyone with information about the June 23 hit-and-run accident involving Dennis Widener, at Division Street and Garland Avenue, should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

A North Spokane man who was injured on his bicycle by a hit-and-run driver died on Wednesday, family members reported.

Dennis Widener was struck while exercising on his bike at Division Street and Garland Avenue about 5:45 a.m. on June 23.

He was hospitalized at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with broken ribs and other injuries and then transferred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

His accident was the subject of a front-page story in Wednesday’s edition of The Spokesman-Review and online at Spokesman.com.

Spokane police said they had little evidence other than a vague vehicle description, possibly a brown Toyota Avalon, with which to investigate the case.

Family members said that Widener, 66, suffered a heart attack and was rushed back to Sacred Heart.

Widener told The Spokesman-Review for the earlier story that he looked both ways at the intersection the morning he was hit and was “always careful” while riding his bike, including wearing a helmet.

The former Army paratrooper had emphysema, and on his doctor’s advice he exercised on a bike with a portable oxygen unit.

Said his wife, Helen, during the earlier interview, “Where did the humanity stop?”

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