Wife of Cal Poly dean killed in Highway 227 bike accident

The Cal Poly community is mourning the loss of one of its own. Bridget Dawson, the woman killed Thursday while riding her bicycle on Highway 227, was married to the dean of the university’s business school.

Dawson, 58, was fatally injured around 6:45 p.m. Thursday when she was cycling south of Biddle Ranch Road. Lisa Smith, 53, of Oceano drifted onto the road’s right shoulder in her 2012 Chrysler and hit Dawson from behind, according to the CHP.

Dawson was thrown from her bike and landed in a ditch on the east side of the road. She sustained multiple fractures and bruises and was pronounced dead around 7:35 p.m. at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

Sgt. Robyn Lescher said officials are investigating the crash to determine whether Smith will be charged or found responsible. Lescher said authorities released Smith at the scene Thursday night.

The use of alcohol or drugs is not suspected to be a contributing factor in the accident, the CHP said, adding it’s unknown what caused the the car to drift onto the right shoulder.

Dawson’s husband, Scott Dawson, heads Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business. On Saturday, Matt Lazier, a university spokesman, confirmed Bridget Dawson’s relationship with Cal Poly.

“The Cal Poly community is deeply saddened to learn of Bridget Dawson’s tragic death,” Lazier wrote in a statement. “Our administration has offered support and condolences on behalf of the campus community to Dean Dawson and his family at this difficult time.”

Tribune staff contributed to this report