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U.S. cyclist suffers fatal fall near Indian beauty spot

New Delhi — Police in India say an American cyclist died in a "clear cut" accident in a mountainous area of the southern city of Hyderabad on Sunday.  Paul Littlejohn, 37, was a cycling enthusiast who had lived in Hyderabad with his wife and two children for almost two years. 

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American Paul Littlejohn, who died in a cycling accident in Hyderabad, India, on May 17, 2020, according to local police. Courtesy of the Littlejohn family

His wife Erica Angelina Littlejohn works for an American financial services company in the city, one of the biggest technology hubs in India. Paul Littlejohn was a mechanical engineer but didn't work in India. 

Early on Sunday morning, Littlejohn left for his usual bike ride around the hills bordering Gandipet Lake, a popular beauty spot away from the bustle of central Hyderabad. He usually went out for the ride with a friend, but on Sunday he went alone. 

When he failed to return home after a couple of hours and wasn't taking phone calls, his wife called the police. They found his body in the hills around Gandipet Lake using cell phone location data at approximately 6 p.m., about 12 hours after he left for his ride. 

"This was an accidental fall while he was cycling," senior police officer Gangadhar Madanam of the local Narsingi Police told CBS News, adding that officers found his bike and other belongings near his body. They said Littlejohn had suffered a head injury in the fall which may have led to his death.  

"This feels so unreal... his kids were his everything. He loved me and our kids dearly," Erica Littlejohn told CBS News.  "He was loved by everyone. He had no enemies." 

Littlejohn is survived his mother, Laurie; father, Clifton; a brother Tom; and two children, six-year-old Robert and Angelina, 8 months. 


Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name and age of Paul Littlejohn, which had been incorrectly reported by local police. 

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