Friday, March 24, 2017
Another Motorist Smashes Into A Bicyclist Without Even Receiving A Ticket (And I Know Because I Was The Bicyclist)
Welcome to lovely St. Lucie County, Fla., where a motorist can smash into a bicyclist with complete immunity and not even draw a citation.
I know all about it.
I was that bicyclist.
A 65-year-old motorist by the name of Dennis Brophy from Fort Pierce drove his 2016 Chevy Cruze right into me from behind without a single attempt at driving around me and sent me to the Lawnwood Medical Center ICU for two days -- and the responding officer did not believe that the culpable motorist deserved a ticket, summons or citation.
Brophy says in plain black-and-white in the crash record that he was in the process of inhaling "a breathing treatment" when he drove his car right into the back of my bicycle and me as we both headed south on Old Dixie Highway at 8:03 a.m. on March 7.
Brophy also stated, according to the report, he was "blinded by the light and never saw the bicyclist until he hit him."
And he admitted "he suffered from extreme sleep apnea." (And Brophy also told the deputy that "he has yet to participate in a sleep study or use a C-pap machine," according to the crash report.)
On the report spot listed as "Driver Distracted By," a single word is typed in: "Inattentive."
And driver's condition at time of crash is "fatigue/asleep."
Inhaler. Flash of light. Falling asleep.
Brophy threw every excuse out there.
I guess it worked.
The deputy did email me these soothing words, "This will not effect the fact that you were the victim of this crash."
The rear wheel of the Cannondale road bicycle was broken into pieces and the rear of the Specialized Propero helmet was crushed in, the helmet cracked in several places.
I could have been killed or left for being a vegetable without that helmet standing up to the crash when Brophy drove his Chevy into me.
Thankfully -- and I think by nothing less than a miracle -- I left the ICU and am recuperating at home.
My lawyer, J. Steele Olmstead, of Tampa, is handing the case, the hospital bills and the insurance issues.
The force of this collision was met by the love and generosity of my friends and family and strangers in the greater bicycle community who donated a stunning $4,000 in the first 24 hours of internet fund raising so that I will have some money to pay my bills and meet living expenses while this case is sorted out.
My sister Debbie worked with bike friends Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaskie and Bridget "French Cottage" Sweeten to post a You Caring fundraising link on Tuesday evening.
And I get choked up thinking about so many people stepped up and gave money and shared the fundraiser link to help me.
I face a long recovery but with family and friends joining this voyage I hope to one day hop back on the saddle.