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Bicycle advocate recovering after Pittsburgh hit-and-run accident

Regular readers of this blog are likely aware that the end result of a car hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist often results in serious personal injuries. Even someone who doesn't regularly read our posts would probably recognize that this is the reality. But just what exactly does the term "serious injuries" mean?

A hit-and-run accident involving a man on his bicycle, that occurred earlier this year in Pittsburgh, illustrates just how serious of an outcome it can be for the person riding the bike. The accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. as the man rode his bike, with its light on, down a hill on Liberty. As he approached the road's intersection with Ligonier Street and Herron Avenue, he was struck by a Jeep that was heading toward him.

The severity of the man's injuries caused him to remain unconscious for three weeks. Reportedly, the only reason the man survived the incident was because he was wearing a helmet. His injuries included:

  • Suffered a ruptured aorta
  • Dislocated elbow
  • Arm fractures
  • Broken wrist
  • Broken finger
  • Fractured sacrum
  • Fractured pelvis
  • Broken legs

The experienced cyclist, who used his bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, is working toward standing by himself and currently relies on a wheelchair to get around.

Ironically, at the time of the accident, the man was working with Bike Pittsburgh on a program called Bike Friendly Employer as well as Car Free Fridays initiative. The accident has only made his convictions surrounding that interest stronger.

Though the Jeep that hit the man has been recovered, as of yet, criminal charges have not been filed against the suspect in the case. Police indicate that they are likely however. With the large amount of medical bills that the man is likely accumulating, it is probable that the driver of the Jeep will face a civil personal injury lawsuit as well.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Pittsburgh cyclist still has drive after hit-and-run that nearly claimed his life," Jon Schmitz, July 5, 2012

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