The bike of local cyclist Tom Ezell remained pinned under the small truck that struck it from behind at the intersection of Markham and Arch. We arrived on the scene as Tom was being helped to the curb.
Ironically, Tom is a League Cycling Instructor* and regularly teaches the fine art of riding in traffic to other cyclists. The incident demonstrates the vulnerability of cyclists even when they are doing everything right. Tom was riding in broad daylight, brightly attired and in the company of other highly visible cyclists, on a designated bike route and obeying traffic laws. The driver, on the other hand, will likely suffer from more repercussions than Tom's bumps and bruises. He got out of the truck, asked Tom if he was OK, and then took off on foot. A driver who witnessed the incident followed him until he was apprehended by police in the area of 8th and Broadway. In the cup holders of the truck were a bottle of vodka, an open bottle of daiquiri mix and a cocktail glass, leading us to believe that the driver was probably intoxicated. I heard later (OK, on Fox 16 news) that the driver was charged with careless and prohibited driving and leaving the scene of an injury accident.
The likely reason for the drivers actions: the console port-a-bar. Tom's riding companions are reflected in the truck window as they direct traffic
Tom had a close-up of truck tires as he scrambled away, remarkably without apparent injury, though his bike and helmet were trashed.
"He went thataway!" Tom describes events for the late arriving Fox news camera. Remember, you saw this breaking news here first!
As Tom gets more comfortable with the camera, he regales the newsman with tall tales of a recent fishing trip. I made that up.
I think he's actually describing the distance of the truck's tire from his head.
Note the first three digits of the license plate. Dialing instructions?
By this time, Tom had been given a quick evaluation by emergency personnel, the ambulance had departed, and the runaway driver had been apprehended. A police officer backed the truck off of Tom's wheel so we could pull the bike out in order to allow the wrecker to tow the truck.
Folks, there is no way to predict or prepare for this kind of driver behavior. All we can do is use caution and wear a helmet. Tom's helmet was broken, so though Tom escaped injury in this incident, that probably would not have been the case if he had not been wearing a helmet.