A bicyclist claims that he was injured when a jet engine blast threw him off his bike while he was cycling past the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.
In a lawsuit filed on June 7 against the airport, San Luis Obispo County, California Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration, Ross Pepper alleges he was part of a group of seven or eight riders who were forcefully struck by a blast of air from an aircraft preparing to depart.
- File Photo By Kaori Funahashi
- OFF COURSE While taking a morning ride next to the SLO Airport, Ross Pepper claims he was knocked off his bike by a passing plane. He's suing the airport.
Pepper was traveling south on Broad Street as part of a group of 14 bike riders on June 13, 2018, shortly after 9 a.m. As an aircraft readied for take-off from the southeastern corner of the airport, the riders were knocked into the way of oncoming traffic, the lawsuit claims.
According to the lawsuit, Pepper, who was 81 at the time of the accident, was riding a recumbent bike equipped with a fairing and body stocking when the "strong gust of wind from the jet blast" toppled Pepper to the ground, spun his body and bike 180 degrees and onto the pavement, causing him severe injuries and damaging his bike and property, the lawsuit states.
Pepper filed timely claims against the defendants, the lawsuit claims, but they were all denied. On Dec. 31, 2018, Pepper filed a claim against Caltrans, but he never received a response—thus the claim was deemed rejected, the lawsuit states.
As of June 13, none of the defendants listed on the lawsuit had filed a response in court. Δ