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Man badly hurt in Modesto bicycle accident identified

UPDATE - Authorities have identified the man critically injured on Briggsmore Avenue near Joaquin Street on Tuesday afternoon, police said, but they are withholding his name until his family can be informed.

The man, 79, is in intensive care at a Modesto hospital. His prognosis is grim, said police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen.

The man was severely injured when he rode his three-wheel bike into traffic. He hit a westbound Ford Escort, striking his head on the car’s windshield.

The man had no identification on him.

He has several distinctive features. He speaks a language similar to Russian or Ukrainian. He is missing the tips of both index fingers. The fingerprints on his thumbs have been obliterated or mutilated.

A hospital employee identified the man on Wednesday, but it’s not clear how, said Findlen. Police visited the address in hospital records and spoke to a neighbor. Police were able to contact the man’s daughter, who told authorities that the man is of Russian descent.

The man’s finger injuries are apparently the result of previous bicycle collisions, said Findlen.

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Police are asking for help identifying a man who was critically injured on Briggsmore Avenue west of Joaquin Street on Tuesday afternoon.

The man was riding a three-wheel bike west on Briggsmore on the north side of the road about 3:10 p.m., said police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen. The man pulled out into traffic, into the path of a westbound Ford Escort. The Escort driver, a 31-year-old Escalon woman, braked, honked her horn and swerved to the left to try to avoid the man, witnesses told police.

Witnesses said the man did not attempt to avoid the collision, said Sgt. Craig Plante. "(The man) made no attempt to stop, maneuver or do anything, he just kept pedaling staring straight ahead," Plante said. When the Escort hit the man, he landed on the car's hood and struck his head on the car's windshield. The driver's 7-year-old daughter was in the passenger seat, and an infant also was in the car. No one in the car was injured, Plante said. Officers smelled alcohol on the man's breath, Plante said.

The man suffered severe head injuries and broken bones. "His injuries are life-threatening, so we the need public's help to find his family," Findlen said. Police said the man, who is white, is believed to be in his 60s or 70s.

The man has several distinctive features. He is missing the tips of his index fingers. The fingerprints on his thumbs have been obliterated or mutilated. He speaks a language similar to Russian or Ukrainian, according to a hospital translator who heard the man speak, Findlen said.

Anyone with information about the man should call officer Tom Bazan at 572-9500.

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