Johnson City teen among many cyclist hurt by hit-and-run drivers



A hit-and-run incident that injured an 18-year-old Johnson City bicyclist last fall continues to add to the growing tally of cyclists hurt in similar occurrences. Luckily, this college student lived to tell about the accident, which left him with a broken left arm and leg.

The teen was riding his bicycle in Elizabethton in the early evening on Nov. 9 when he was struck from the side by what witnesses described as a white transit van driven by an older man. Thrown to the ground, the cyclist sustained injuries as his left side bore the brunt of the impact. Debris at the scene included the vehicle’s passenger side mirror. These accidents are preventable, cause a major life disruption and lengthy recovery time for victims who must also deal with expensive medical bills.

More than 1 in 4 cyclists died in hit-and-run accidents

Many bicyclists are not as fortunate as the Johnson City college student. According to Outside magazine, of the 697 cyclists killed on U.S. roads in 2020, a total of 183 or more than 26% of the fatalities were attributed to hit-and-run incidents.

A five-year review by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of bicycle fatalities from 2015 to 2019 revealed that 45% of the deaths were caused by either a hit-and-run, drunk or speeding driver.

Cyclists can do all they want to remain safe on the road by wearing bright clothing, obeying the traffic laws and remaining alert, but a single abrupt action from a careless, reckless and distracted motor vehicle driver can turn their world upside down.

You enjoy cycling, so good for you. It is a great activity for physical fitness, commuting and the family. But remember the potential hazards that are out there, especially those caused by drivers.