Cyclist crashed to death by car
Barry Tarrell Dantzler
A man who is being accused of murdering a woman now faces an additional homicide charge after he engaged the police in a car chase, rolled his vehicle, and hit a Tulare bicyclist, according to the Visalia police department. While he was arrested in Tulare, the investigation started days earlier in southeast Visalia. The accident happened on Friday, 29 May 2020.
According to the police report, it had taken some days for detectives to locate the suspect. He was seen near Motel 6 in Tulare around 7 p.m. on Friday. He was wanted in connection to a previous felony that had happened earlier that week. When officers tried a traffic stop on the suspect, he fled. During the ensuing police chase, Dantzler lost control of his car and crashed into a utility pole. The vehicle rolled over and hit a woman who was riding her bicycle. The woman died at the scene. Unfortunately, her name and age weren't released.
The First Murder
On the morning of Tuesday 26 May, 2020, Visalia police were called to a house on Thomas Court near Paradise Avenue after reports of a suspicious circumstance. When they arrived at the home, officers on site found the body of Heather Sloan, aged 37. The department's crime lab was later called to the scene. Local roads in and around the area were blocked for several hours as police collected evidence.
It's unclear how, but the police identified Barry Tarrell Dantzler, 30, as the lead suspect in Sloan's death. Police believe Ms. Sloan was killed during a home invasion. According to court documents, Mr. Dantzler has multiple prior felony and misdemeanor convictions dating back to 2011. The police stated the possibility that Sloan and Dantzler knew each. However, Ms. Sloan's cause of death was not released. Mr. Dantzler was arrested and booked into the Tulare County Pretrial Facility and he will be formally charged on Tuesday, 2 June 2020. He faces multiple charges; homicide, home invasion, and felony evading. He will most likely also be charged in the death of the bicyclist.
Recently released state data showed that Tulare County's unemployment rate almost doubled to 19% in April as the nation's most populated state lost more jobs in one month as a result of the coronavirus, than it did during the Great Recession which happened a decade ago. This sharp rise has left many residents with concerns regarding their safety and the potential rise of crime rates.
The cycling community in the area has also voiced its concerns. They have engaged the city fathers to put in place stringent measures to lower the accident rates. Nearly 30% of all cycle accidents that happen in the USA involve women; with negligent car drivers causing most of these accidents. With summer approaching in many parts of the country, studies have shown that there are more collisions during this period, compared to other seasons. Also, most of the collisions take place during the day; leaving many cyclists fearing for their lives