Freak Accident Raises Questions About Biking With Dogs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Two men on bikes are responsible for four robberies in two days and don't show signs of stopping.

    It's a common sight -- a pet owner biking with Fido leashed alongside for some exercise.

    But, what happens if the leash gets tangled? It could end in tragedy for both the human and the dog.

    That's what happened to San Jose resident Beverly Head last month as she walked down Los Alamitos Creek Trail. It was something she had worried about often. She even told her husband about her concerns just two days before she became a victim of such a freak accident.

    Head, 62, was walking down the trail when a cyclist on a mountain bike rode by, pulling his two Siberian Huskies alongside him on their leashes. One of the leashes got caught behind Head's legs, causing her to fall on the ground and hit her head -- hard. She was rushed to a hospital and had emergency surgery but the trauma to her brain was so severe, she died.

    Head's husband of 43 years wonders why there isn't a law in place to prevent such tragic accidents and has been calling on city leaders to create one.

    The current city code states that dog owners must have "direct physical control" of their dogs on leashes up to 20-feet long but it doesn't mention pet owners riding bicycles.

    City Councilwoman Nancy Pyle is looking into the law and whether it needs to be adjusted to include dog owners taking their pets along on leashes for a bike ride.

    "We're taking this seriously," Pyle's chief of staff Kathy Sutherland said. "We think it's worth revisiting the issue."

    Head's death was ruled an accident. Police say they don't have the dog owner's name and say they would not cite him even if they knew who he was.

    Pyle said she expects it will take about two weeks to do the research and gather public input before changing any park rules.

    Leave a comment below to tell us what you think. Do you take your dog on leash for bike rides? What do you think should be done about the issue, which is surely to become a hot button one?