Central Valley

Sonoran electrocuted amid bike race setup

OAKDALE -- A 20-year-old Sonora man was electrocuted and another man was injured Sunday morning as they were setting up communications equipment for a bicycle race.

The accident about two miles south of Oakdale was reported at 7:19 a.m. on Warnerville Road about one-fifth of a mile east of Emery Road, said Capt. Mike Tobin of the Oakdale Fire Protection District.

Tobin said the two men were setting up a relay antenna when a gust of wind apparently blew it into a power line.

He said one man was taken to Oak Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Stanislaus County sheriff's Lt. Mario Cisneros and race official Robert Leibold identified the man as 20-year-old Jeremy Regalado.

Regalado was a Sonora resident, said Leibold, director of operations for Soulsbyville-based Velo Promo, which organized Sunday's race.

Leibold said Regalado was part of a three-person volunteer crew setting up the antenna near the starting line. The third person was not injured.

Leibold said the antenna lets race officials talk to each other on radios while they are stationed at locations along the 17-mile course.

He said the antenna is believed to have been about 30 feet high. Leibold said this is the first time Velo Promo has had an accident with the antenna.

"We've used them 50 times over the past seven or eight years," he said. "We've never had a problem in the past."

Tobin said the man who was injured was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. He was expected to recover, according to Cisneros. Leibold said the man was released from the hospital Sunday.

Leibold said the injured man's first name is Daniel and he is a Modesto resident. He identified the third man in the antenna crew as Sonora-area resident Bobby Brewer.

The start of Sunday's race was delayed nearly an hour. About 250 cyclists took part in the race, which consisted of four loops around the 17-mile course, Leibold said.

Velo Promo puts on about 40 cycling races a year throughout California, he added.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or 578-2316.

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