Cyclist crushed but driver speeds off
Cape Town - A cyclist is in a critical condition after she was knocked over and crushed under the wheels of a silver BMW.
The allegedly drunk driver was arrested after he tried to take off, leaving his blood-spattered car abandoned in Hout Bay, said authorities.
The rider, identified as Alriza Reid, a member of the City Cycling Club, was riding along Victoria Road on Sunday morning.
According to the club’s ride co-ordinator, Duncan Nel, she was part of a group of 12 riders snaking along the coastal road, which is a popular spot for cyclists because it includes a variety of climbs and downhill sections, such as Suikerbossie.
She was training for the Coronation Double Century.
Nel said as the group neared the turn-off to Llandudno at about 10am, a BMW coming in the opposite direction swerved towards them.
Reid, who was at the front of the group, was knocked off her bike as the car hit her.
“She fell and rolled underneath the car,” said Nel.
“If he had just stopped, instead of driving away, she would’ve been fine.”
The weight of the car had broken her jaw, injured her leg, and possibly her head.
“This guy just sped off and left her for dead.”
The people riding with Reid called emergency services.
Onlookers helped by redirecting traffic awy from the scene.
Other cyclists and motorists watched as paramedics lifted Reid into a helicopter to be flown to Groote Schuur Hospital.
Nel said initially paramedics had told them it seemed likely her leg, which had been crushed, would have to be amputated.
The latest news from the hospital is that although her jaw is broken and she is missing several teeth, she will make a full recovery.
A club member said she was set to go into surgery on Sunday night.
“They can’t say yet whether she sustained any serious head injuries because she is currently on pain medication,” said Nel.
When the car sped away after running over Reid, one of the cyclists gave chase.
While the motorist disappeared in Hout Bay, overtaking the rider on the downhill sections, the police managed to track down his vehicle, which was reportedly still spattered with Reid’s blood.
Traffic officials confirmed the car had been found in the neighbourhood.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the 28-year-old motorist had later been arrested.
“He is due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court soon, on charges of drunken driving.”
Members of the club posting on The Hub SA, a local forum for cyclists, said they hoped the driver would be prosecuted severely for what he had done.
One user said: “I hope the p**** driving gets caught and prosecuted to the max, not for just causing the accident but for leaving the scene and not taking responsibility.”
Nel said the cycling club prided itself on defensive riding, showing respect for the rules of the road and for motorists.
“We always make sure we wear bright clothing, and ride as safely as possible.
“I do not know what this driver was doing.”