Columbus Hit And Run Close Call

I guess the time comes with every cyclist where you are hit by a car. Saturday night was my closest call yet, as a group of seven people I was riding with in Columbus OH was plowed into from behind at speed, perhaps at 35 mph. Two lanes in either direction with a center turning lane, no traffic at all, sharrows painted on the road, and easily 10 blinkie lights between the 7 people. We were riding in a tight group, taking up no more than 2 or 3 parking spaces length of road in one lane. No sounds of brakes, no sounds of the engine, the first notice any of us in the tight group had was a loud bang with the impact with the first rider and then the actual crash. Somehow only two riders had the complete impact from the car—24hrs later after spending the night in the hospital each is doing well, quite sore and beat up with a single broken collarbone between them. Considering the sickening crunching sounds of the impact and the distance they were thrown (out of their laced shoes…) the outcome is unbelievable. Pieces of the car littered the scene, bikes destroyed, this was no grazing hit. Perhaps cynically and predictably the car sped off with squealing tires, only to be caught on the opposite side of town minutes later with a reportedly very alcohol impaired 70 year old man (wrongly reported as woman at first, no matter really) behind the wheel. It is amazing the entire group wasn’t taken out, it’s amazing the two who got hit aren’t injured worse. We’re talking about making sure people could wiggle toes and fingers in the middle of the street here. One other rider went down in the melee but managed to only scrape his knee as he rolled out. Miraculously I didn’t go down, even though after all was said and done my rear wheel was left unrideable from some sort of impact during the incident.

Be careful out there, be nice to people, live it up.

17 Responses to “Columbus Hit And Run Close Call”

  1. 1 sarahelizabeth

    i am so glad you and everyone are okay. this situation is too close to me as is everyone who was cycling last night and i am thankful. like brad says live it up. be kind and also safe out there. you never know who is on the streets :/

  2. 2 george

    Glad to know everybody is okay. I am also from Columbus, OH. Just wanted to know what was the location of the accident?

  3. 3 george

    I found it: looks like it is high street. Thanks!

  4. 4 Advocate

    Holy sh!@ and wow. Glad all cyclists are apparently doing OK following the horrific crash. Hope the two hosptilized get well soon.

    Where and about what time was the crash? It’s impossible to ‘share the road’ with drunk drivers! Make the accused 70 year old driver and any others whom harrass or crash cyclists ride a bicycle the rest of their lives.

  5. 5 Bryan Saums

    Thanks for sharing your experience…and so sorry you went through it. Please do not drink and drive.

  6. 6 jess

    i heard about this this morning on the news while getting ready for work. reading this article just makes me sick to my stomach. that car was caught in the german village/merion village area.
    i like ‘advocates’ punishment of making guilty drivers, ride a bicycle as their punishment.
    i’m very glad to hear the two whom were hit and the other five riders are all all right.

  7. 7 Andrew

    Wow. If it had to happen, and sadly, you’re right, this happens to all of us eventually (it seems), at least you were right in front of the cville firehouse. Glad to hear folks made it out ok, certainly could’ve been tragic.

  8. 8 Ben Stepp

    During my most recent commute home from school(CSCC,a 7mile ride south) I was swerved at in someones idea of a joke. That and the road conditions where I live have kept me from commuting. I couldn’t imagine actually being hit. Scary stuff. Glad everyone involved was ok.

  9. 9 Barbara

    Seems like a group of seven bicyclists with blinking red lights would be visible to drivers, but apparently not so much to impaired ones. So glad everyone is relatively physically unharmed!!! I’ve been commuting by bike to work for about eight years, and had a LOT of close calls, but very fortunate to not been hit. How about wearing some reflective clothing, especially when riding at night?? I know I am a LOT more visible wearing my “cop jacket”, which is flourescent yellow with reflective striping. It glows in the dark when lights hit it. Added advantage – it was purchased on a web site that sells safety equipment to police and fire. So it actually is a police jacket, just without the badge, etc. Advantage – even the cops think I am one of them or know one of them, and I’ve had cars stop for me when they’ve had the right of way. Reflective vests are good when the weather is too warm for a jacket.

  10. 10 Ray George

    Sorry to see this happen, especially since you were visiting Columbus for a cycling event.

    We took action in the OSU campus area, south of your accident, by creating the “How We Roll” campaign because of the high instances of bicycle/pedestrian vs auto accidents. Yay Bikes! also handed out a number of safety vests just last month. Even though we can educate cyclists and supply them with equipment it is ultimately in the hands of drivers who decide to drink impaired. Other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are all at risk.

  11. 11 Steve Magas

    Im very glad to hear no one was killed or maimed! These events are, thankfully, fairly rare in the grand scheme of things. In Ohio, year after year, we see right around 2000 crashes per year. However , I refuse to accept these as inevitable. In my little utopic world I believe avoidable crashes are preventable and stupid behaviors are unacceptable. ONE is unacceptable. This one was unacceptable.

    I guess this why I always urge cyclists to push cops to fully investigate and ticket or charge the offending motorist and to fully and aggressively pursue a civil claim against the insurer. Glad to see Yay doing some good work to educate & arm cyclists with some conspicuity aids. To me, punishing offending motorists to the fullest is the best “education” we can provide…
    Steve Magas
    The Bike Lawyer

  12. 12 RubTheLamp

    I’m so glad to hear no one was seriously injured. I can empathize with the victims of this vehicle/biker crash because I was struck as a pedestrian on campus some years back and it took 9 months to recover. While I love biking on the road I rarely do it at night. The blinky lights are not enough for a biker to be visible to a driver. All too often, I see bikers commuting home at night wearing dark clothing and expecting drivers to yield. Until high visibility reflective vests are made mandatory, late night bikers will continue to fall victim to drivers both unimpaired or otherwise.

    **We were lit up like Christmas trees and rear ended by a drunk on an otherwise empty street. Thank you for blaming the victims.** -Brad

  13. 13 Terri Fisher

    My son is a member of your club and while I am grateful he wasn’t with you when this happened, I’m sickened by all the “what could have happened” to all of you. Might also be worth mentioning the recent malevolent incident where a door of a moving car was opened on one of your riders intentionally and got away with it. I’m glad to hear you’re all ok. Be careful out there.
    Would be curious to know if drunk driver had either license or insurance.

  14. 14 C. Brown

    I’m sorry this happened to any of you. Not only should the drunk driver be made to ride a bike, never drive a car, he/she/all of them, should do jail time.

    And for those who think it’s funny to swerve at bikers/pedestrians? Chain them to a spot on the road and let the impaired drivers swerve at them. Hopefully they will be able to miss.

    I’ve been swerved at, had car doors opened on me, had things thrown at me from moving cars.

    Why do bikes threaten people so?

    Very glad all are able to heal. Likely their hearts will thump harder every time they ride on the road now. Mine does.

  15. 15 Jana Velo

    #$%&@! This makes me really angry! So sorry to hear that this happened, and am really grateful that people weren’t hurt worse. I’m also outraged that more than one commenter here suggests that wearing reflective clothing is a suitable response to the damage inflicted by a drunk driver. Much worse than sentencing the driver to jail time, fines or biking, I wish drunk drivers were not given their licenses back, ever. Why does our society consider driving a right that should be continually restored when abused repeatedly? Grrrr.

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