This story was updated on Sept. 12, 2011.
Maryland State Police said a 24-year-old Bowie woman who was riding her bicycle in Bowie on Friday night was not at fault in the crash that led to her death, contrary to previous reports.
Cpl. James Brazill, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police College Park Barrack, said a 2011 Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on U.S. 301/MD Route 3 near Sylvan Drive at about 9:20 p.m. left the righthand lane of the road and struck Danielle Marie Cooper of Bowie, who was riding her bike in the road shoulder.
“Initially we thought the bicyclist was on the roadway, but (reconstruction) evidence showed that she was on the shoulder,” he said.
Brazill said the shoulder where Cooper was riding is a marked bike path and she was wearing her helmet that night.
Cooper was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, where she was later pronounced dead.
Cooper’s father, John Cooper Sr., said his daughter, a graduate of Bowie High School, was returning home that night from her job at Crunchies Natural Pet Foods in Crofton.
Cooper said he had concerns about his daughter riding home on that route.
“She rode that trail over and over and over for the last couple years,” he said. “I used to holler at her about it, but she was always very cautious.”
Cooper said the shock of the death still has not worn off for the family.
“She was just a sweet child,” he said. “She was actually an animal lover.”
No charges have been filed against the driver of the Chevy Malibu, a 19-year-old Virginia woman who remained on the scene that night, according to Maryland State Police.
Brazill said he did not know how fast the car was traveling, citing an ongoing investigation.