A Lees-McRae College freshman was killed after being hit by a pickup truck in Avery County, North Carolina (NC). The 19-year-old was training for her school’s cycling team, riding on U.S. 221 near Ginger Lane in Altamont. A Ford Ranger crossed the center line and hit her bicycle.
The driver has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, and our thoughts are with the victim’s family. To see a young woman in the prime of her life doing something she loved lose her life due to someone else’s carelessness is heart-wrenching.
This is the second fatality for the Lees-McRae cycling team in 2011. A senior cyclist died in January after an accident in her home in South Africa. One can only imagine how difficult this second loss must be for the women’s teammates. Nearly all athletes suffer injuries during their playing careers, but worrying about fatal accidents should never be a concern for young athletes.
Accidents between bicycles and vehicles almost always end tragically. Studies show that bicycle deaths in 2009 accounted for approximately 2 percent of all traffic fatalities. Even more injuries occurred as a result of bicycle accidents — approximately 500,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bicycling can be dangerous, but student athletes and amateur cyclists alike should not have to pay for other people’s mistakes on the road. Another innocent life has been taken at the fault of a careless driver.
As a personal injury attorney, I’ve done the research and know how to handle bicycle accidents with injuries. First, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Call the police and have an officer complete an official accident report. Try to get digital pictures with a cell phone if not a camera. If you need legal assistance, we provide confidential free initial consultations.