Bicyclist injured during Raleigh Ironman, SUV driver charged
Posted June 1, 2014
Updated June 2, 2014
New Hill, N.C. — A bicyclist competing in the Raleigh Ironman crashed into an SUV that had stopped suddenly along the route Sunday morning, according to the state Highway Patrol.
The man, whose name was not released, was taken to WakeMed with lacerations to his face, missing teeth and back and neck trauma. His injuries are serious but not life-threatening, troopers said.
The crash happened at about 9:15 a.m. on New Hill Holleman Road in New Hill.
Troopers say the driver of the SUV, a woman whose name was not released, was passing the Ironman bicyclists on a double yellow line, which is illegal. Traffic officers and contestants told her to slow down. Instead, she stopped suddenly in the middle of the road near Shearon Harris Road.
The woman was charged with careless and reckless driving and failing to obey a traffic officer.
The bicyclist who was injured was one of more than 3,000 athletes participating in the Ironman, which includes swimming, biking and running through parts of Chatham and Wake counties.
The competition began at 7 a.m. Sunday with a 1.2-mile swim off Vista Point Beach at Jordan Lake. After getting wet, athletes were embarking on a 56-mile bike ride through eastern Chatham and southern Wake counties. They were then entering the Raleigh city limits on Lake Wheeler Road before finishing their ride on West Lenoir Street.
Competitors were finishing the event with a 13.1-mile half-marathon on a double-loop course that begins on East South Street and ends in front of the Marriott hotel on Fayetteville Street.
In 2013, competitors from more than 30 countries descended on the Triangle for the inaugural event.
After watching last year's event, Leslie Newcomb decided to try it out.
"Last year I watched the people do it and I thought they were crazy doing that and this year I am trying it out," she said. "I wanted to push myself a little bit. Move out of my comfort zone."
Gregg Garcia agrees with Newcomb's description of participants.
"It's a little crazy," he said. "Hence the name of our team, Tre Loco. Loco is Spanish for crazy."
Raleigh police and other law enforcement agencies have shut down several streets during the event:
- Inbound traffic on Dawson Street will be detoured to Jones Street. Drivers can access the southern part of the city by using North Bloodworth Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
- Dawson Street will be closed from Jones Street to Morgan Street, but will be open from Morgan Street to Lenoir Street.
- One lane of Wilmington Street will be open from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Edenton Street. All Edenton Street traffic will be directed to turn north on Harrington and West streets where drivers can access Peace Street and Capital Boulevard and the northern, eastern and western parts of the city.
- The lanes going west on Edenton Street will be open to vehicular traffic and will be reduced to one lane beginning at Edenton/Person Street to West Street, where traffic will be detoured north on West Street.
- Motorist will have access to the western part of the city by using Peace Street.
- Lake Wheeler Road at Tryon Road will be closed between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to vehicles heading north.
- Eastbound Tryon Road vehicular traffic will be able to make either a right turn south onto Lake Wheeler Road or a U-turn at the intersection. Message boards will be placed on Tryon Road prior to the Lake Wheeler Road intersection.
- The Interstate 40 West exit ramp at Lake Wheeler Road is open to Farmers Market traffic. Motorists will be able to turn into Centennial Drive. However, the inside lane will be coned off from the exit ramp to Centennial Drive.
Cars are not allowed to cross the race route during the event. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Western Boulevard, Peace Street and Wilmington Street are open.