Based on the newspaper report, it could have been prevented by either the rider or the driver, and perhaps, since the rider was apparently warming up to ride in the Senior Olympics, by warning signage or volunteers staging the event.
A wholly preventable tragedy.
What could have been done?
According to the investigation, the cyclist swerved out of the lane on the shoulder of the road into the main traffic lane. That was suicidal, assuming the report was correct. [Could it have been incorrect? Quite possibly. Accident reconstructions by law enforcement tend to favor the motorist.]
We don't know how fast the truck that hit the bicyclist was traveling, but it certainly was not moving slowly. I have a feeling that it was going well over 60 mph.
Could I have avoided hitting a cyclist who swerved into my lane? Most likely, if I were traveling at a reasonable rate of speed, if I saw the cyclist ahead, and if I were prepared to slow or stop ahead of time. I would always give a cyclist room.
The real question is how far away was the oncoming truck when the cyclist entered the traffic lane? If it was more than 30-40 feet, I see driver error as the prime cause, either excessive speed, inattention, or slow braking response.
I can't prove driver negligence, but I definitely suspect it.
Was the time trial route on that road? If so, signs should already have been posted, and volunteers should have been setting up, even before the races started. And so there may have been error on the part of those holding the cycling event.
If a cycling event is being held, motorists should exert extra care, which means going more slowly, allowing for unexpected moves by cyclists and room for the cyclists to tip over without being run over.
Can cyclists be blown overby a gust of wind? Sure. Can a cyclist blow out a tire or have a wheel come off or a handlebar break? Sure. Can a cyclist tip over when stopping? Sure, especially when clipped into the pedals and not being used to it.
Might a cyclist riding on the edge of the road swerve to avoid broken glass or unsafe road conditions? Sure.
CYCLISTS NEED ROOM! GIVE CYCLISTS ROOM.
Finally, is Rick Perry responsible? The only answer to that is ... maybe. If the bill that Perry vetoed mandated a passing distance of five feet, and the oncoming truck was approaching the cyclist so as to pass within five feet, and then the cyclist swerved less than five feet and was struck by the truck, there would have been a clear violation by the motorist.
Did that happen yesterday? The newspaper says no. But cyclists know how much store to put in official accounts and police reports.