A Lompoc bicyclist died Friday morning on Highway 154 when a truck struck the back of the rider’s bike, police officials said.  

Mikhail Panko, of Santa Maria, was driving a black Toyota 4Runner eastbound on Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma at about 9 a.m. when he collided with the bicyclist.

“As the SUV attempted to pass the bicyclist, for unknown reasons, a collision occurred,” California Highway Patrol Officer C. Powers said in an emailed statement.

The bicyclist sustained fatal injuries. His name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

Officers are investigating to determine whether alcohol played a factor, CHP officials said. 

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