A reader writes in: “My brother was riding his bike on Williamsburg Road and got hit by an SUV which did NOT stop.”
She also says that “My brother – the victim – is not inclined to pursue any kind of attention to the incident; he […] blames himself for it, but I think the incident raises issues that need addressing”, and sent in a description of the incident:
The cyclist was riding west on Williamsburg Road around 6:30PM last Sunday. As he approached the train tracks at Fulton Gas Works (which cross the roadway at an angle at this location) he looked behind him to check for traffic before executing a maneuver familiar to any cyclist, i.e. swerving out into the road so as to cross the tracks at a right angle to prevent catching a tire and crashing. He saw a dark gray SUV in the distance behind him and judged it to be far enough away for him safely to swing out into the left lane so as to cross the tracks without incident.
As he did so, the SUV overtook him, striking the bicycle’s front wheel with the left front bumper. The cyclist was thrown in the air by the impact. His right hip hit the side mirror and his back hit the post at the left edge of the windshield. The cyclist then fell into the road on his right side, sustaining deep contusions and extensive abrasions and cracking his helmet.
The driver of the SUV proceeded away from the scene, leaving the cyclist stunned, unable to breathe, bleeding and in substantial pain, to crawl out of the road to avoid being struck by other vehicles. At this time of day, it was still light outside and it is NOT possible that the driver was unaware that he/she had hit someone with his/her vehicle.
The victim is unaware of any witnesses to the incident and believes that the woman who stopped to help, and called 911, did not actually witness what happened. He has some awareness of multiple cars driving by after the woman stopped. He also mentions a jogger who was in the area at the time though his role and whether he witnessed anything is not known.
After a time, EMT and police arrived on the scene. The victim was only minimally able to speak at the time. He wears a Road ID necklace when training (running or cycling) and had to explain this multiple times to emergency personnel and police. Though they were given this information, at NO TIME did anyone call the victim’s wife, who was expecting him at home in time for dinner at 7:15. In fact, it was the victim himself who finally had to find a phone and call his wife from the hospital, after several hours had passed and it became obvious that she had not been called.
He spent the night in the hospital and was discharged late morning on Monday.
He has not yet been contacted by police to further investigate. The condition of the bicycle is unknown, and it is assumed to be in police possession, though a phone call to Sector 111 police earlier in the week yielded no information and the victim has not heard back from any representative of the Richmond Police.
This is as much as I know at this point. I am hoping that raising the awareness level about this will generate some discussion of bicycle safety and maybe bring out a witness.