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Lake Eastern

Beach Lover
Dec 17, 2005
Walton County
I have to leave early many mornings to travel east on 30A and while I am courteous to bicyclists the sun rising in the east often blinds me around areas like Deer Lake. The same is true when you hit the curve of 30A just past Resort Quest office traveling west in the afternoon when the sun is setting. Everyone needs to be conscious of these situations.


SoWal Expert
May 8, 2007
I found that very jarring too.

Strange place/time for an accident of that nature - I can't believe it would have happened if the driver was paying a modicum of attention.

Would be great if long term plans for 98 included a separated bike path like we have connecting 98 and 30a and along 30a.

Our area is becoming a favorite destination for bikers................and bad drivers.


Beach Lover
I was saddened to hear about this tragic accident. All of our thoughts are with this man's family as they cope with such a horrible loss. I hope that cell phone use did not contribute to this accident.

I regularly ride on 30A and was beginning to extend out on to 98 but no longer. The motorists on 30A are for the quite respectful of bicyclists that share the road, and I try to return this respect in kind.

trout bum

Beach Comber
Jul 2, 2011
Yesterday I rode on 98 same place and same time I saw the scene coming back from kayaking IT just made Me sick I saw his cleats still in the peddals, Whoever was driving had to be going fast.


Beach Lover
May 5, 2007
Santa Rosa Beach FL
This is the article I found on line. Very sad.

Cyclist from Atlanta killed in South Walton wreck
Comments 13
July 02, 2011 5:34 PM
Lauren Sage Reinlie
Daily News
SANTA ROSA BEACH — An instructor at Georgia Tech died Saturday morning after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on U.S. Highway 98 in South Walton County.

Kurt Lang Frankel, 33, of Atlanta, was riding his bike east on the shoulder of U.S. 98 when he was struck east of County Road 283 about 8:30 a.m., according to a news release from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Frankel was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, where he was pronounced dead at 9:16 a.m., the FHP reported.

Alexandra Elise Alford, 19, of Miramar Beach, was driving a Mercedes Benz C240 east in the outside lane when she hit the back of Frankel’s bike and knocked him off, according to the FHP.

Frankel was riding a Scott bicycle worth an estimated $4,000 and was wearing a helmet, the FHP reported.

He was an assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, according to the school’s website.

Alford was not injured in the accident.

Alcohol was not a factor in the wreck, the FHP reported. Charges were still pending later Saturday.

Alford was not injured in the wreck and alcohol was not a factor, according to the release.

Charges are pending, according to the FHP.
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SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
South Walton, FL
It doesn't seem relevant at first glance, but I imagine the cost of the bike and the safety equipment of the biker tells us that he was experienced. Not an average biker without knowledge of rules and precautions.

I am always nervous when bikers are on 98, regardless. Or any other road, for that matter. There is just not much room for error.

In any case, it is very sad and I am so sorry to hear about this accident.
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Beach Fanatic
Dec 30, 2006
This is a horrible accident. Someone lost their life and someone's life was affected forever.

No official report has been given, so why would anyone second guess what happened. As to the speed, I believe that stretch of 98 is 55 mph, right, even if 45, fast enough to kill someone on a bike. So no need to say they were going fast to imply they were speeding.

And yes I have traveled that stretch early in the morning and as Lake Eastern stated the sun can be blinding.

A little compassion for both families would be nice. At 19 would you have wanted to have that to live with for the rest of your life irregardless of what happened.

If the driver was neglient I am sure the officers will be able to determine that, more so than anyone can guessing what happened.
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Beach Comber
Sep 2, 2009
Right on Minnie. It is horrible for everyone. That 19 year old girl did not intend this and now has to live with it forever. Hopefully the cyclyist's family is compassionate.
I heard about the accident at 8:45am, no details, as I was at my rental house washing duvet covers. I knew my husband was out on a road ride at that same time, so it was very real for me. I am so sorry for Kurt and everyone who loved him. RIP

Miss Critter

Beach Fanatic
Mar 8, 2008
My perfect beach
Amen, Minnie. So many people are so quick to judge without knowing the facts. My heart goes out to the family of the cyclist who was killed, but also to the 19-year-old girl and her family. Whether driver attention was an issue, we don't yet know. That's a well-traveled stretch of road with a high speed limit. Bike lane or not, there's danger there. From what I know, this girl is a good kid from a good family. Maybe driver inexeperience was an issue, but I'll wait to learn the details. Junior Critter is not yet 18, and I pray every time he leaves the house. It's a dangerous world out there.

When I was in my 20's and fate had not yet "gifted" me with the myriad learning experiences I've had since, I, too, thought the world was an orderly place. Just do the right thing, stay out of bad places, make what you deem to be good judgments and "bad" things simply wouldn't happen. What a naive view of the world! Sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, really awful things happen. Sometimes to bad people, which seems "fair," and sometimes to good, which seems not so much. As I hit 50, I realize that the Universe in which we live is more complex than I'm able to figure out. So I rely on faith and compassion to get through it. It's not an easy fix, and requires constant work, but it's the only thing that makes any sense to me. A little less judgment and a little more compassion, please.
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Beach Fanatic
Dec 31, 2007
We were discussing this today and I just caution everyone to withhold any judgement. Anything could have happened. Cyclist could have hit something or swerved, another driver could have swerved toward this girl causing her to swerve, deer are out right now, bike have blowouts, text messages happen, coffee gets spilled, someone sneezes violently, water bottles get hung up in cages. I've had close calls as a driver and as a cyclist. Sometimes it was not the fault of either party, things just happened and somehow we all walked away. We don't know, may never know what happened. Please just take it to heart and keep an eye out, cyclists and motorists be careful, focus on the road and err on the side of caution.
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