The driver who hit a longtime Jackson teacher riding his bike along Elk Refuge Road has been cited.

Louis Appignani, 86, received a misdemeanor citation for failure to pass safely on the left following the July 24 accident that sent Jim Rooks to the hospital. In interviews with police, Appignani said he was unclear about how he hit Rooks, said Teton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jess Stone.

“He acknowledged he saw Mr. Rooks riding,” Stone said. “He felt he had gotten over to the left, but at some point in time there was contact.”

Stone said it is unclear which part of Appignani’s Jeep struck Rooks, though there were black scuff marks on the front right quarter panel. Both were heading north on the Refuge Road about 2 miles from the Miller House.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Rooks and his family pay for the medical bills related to his injuries. Created Aug. 7, the fundraiser had a goal of $10,000, but as of Tuesday it had collected nearly $16,000.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.