Identity of dead bicyclist released

OKEECHOBEE — The identity of a bicyclist killed earlier this week on S.R. 70 East has been released by the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to an FHP release Douglas Irvin Schwalm, 60, of West Palm Beach was pronounced dead at the scene of the Monday, Sept. 26, accident.

The FHP is also asking the public’s help in finding an unidentified tractor-trailer rig that ran over Mr. Schwalm as he laid in the westbound lane of the highway.

An initial FHP report indicted Mr. Schwalm was traveling east on the paved shoulder along the south side of the busy highway around 6:56 a.m. When that pavement ended near S.R. 70’s intersection with N.E. 70th Avenue, the bicyclist apparently entered the eastbound lane of the highway.

When Mr. Schwalm left the paved shoulder he pulled directly into the path of an oncoming 2003 F-150 pickup driven by Harold Browning, 58, of Venus.

The front end of the Ford truck then struck the back end of the bicycle. That impact threw Mr. Schwalm onto the pavement in the westbound lane. The pickup came to rest facing east on the north shoulder of the highway.

At this point, stated the initial report, the westbound tractor-trailer struck the bicycle and the prone bicyclist. The driver of the big rig did not stop, added the report, and continued on in a westerly direction.

If anyone has information regarding the tractor-trailer that left the scene, they are asked to contact FHP at 954-837-4012.

Mr. Browning was not injured.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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