Four bicyclists were biking in the morning of June 10 across the intersection of South Pleasant Valley and Elmont Dr. when a car came barreling through the intersection. Injured people and bike parts were scattered across three blocks of the road. Fortunately, no one was killed.
A witness sitting at a traffic light said he saw the white Buick crash into the group of cyclists, who were in the middle of an 83-mile ride. Another witness jumped out of his Jeep and ran to assist the injured cyclists when he saw the driver of the Buick get out of the car and walk over to a woman and hand her something. The woman then stole the witness’s Jeep and fled the scene.
Officers and the witness whose Jeep was stolen managed to catch up to the woman, who was charged with felony theft of property, violation of city ordinances and possession of a controlled substance. Police found crystal meth on her person, likely the object that the driver of the Buick gave to her before she fled in the stolen Jeep.
The driver of the Buick claimed that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
The executive director of Bike Austin, Mercedes Feris, says that this accident shows a need for protected bike lanes on major streets like Pleasant Valley. Protected bike lanes would allow cyclists to travel oft-used roads without risking their lives due to reckless and/or potentially intoxicated drivers.