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Bicyclist injured during Raleigh Ironman, SUV driver charged

Posted June 1
Updated June 2

— 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. 

71 Comments

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  • Alexia Jun 3, 10:36 a.m.

    SPECKLEDMYTROUT, PAULEJ and any others interested.
    C’mon it’s really isn’t all THAT hard.... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    What point are you trying to make? We know the current laws, at least I do. My point was that a... View More

    — Posted by Alexia

    Point being is that according to the driver’s handbook you can pass in other than a passing... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    The handbook says you can pass when it's safe, but it's not "safe" in a non-passing zone. This is why the lady got a ticket. Remember, bikes are vehicles and the same rules apply.

    I don't expect police would give a ticket if behind a bike, no. But my real point was that there are reasons that it is illegal to drive slow: it's dangerous.

    We should change the law so that passing bikes is possible even in non-passing zones. Existing zones are designed with passing cars in mind. It takes far less time to pass a bike.

  • dlnorri Jun 2, 3:57 p.m.

    We live in the Holly Springs area off of Avent Ferry and I can tell you it was a mess. The... View More

    — Posted by M2Two

    : Bycycles have to ride single file or maybe staggered (like you see motorbikes), However given the low speed, I would highly recomment single file. And if there is no passing lane, do yourself a favor and pull off and let the cars go by........ much easier than replacing teeth or mending bones.

  • Classified Jun 2, 3:21 p.m.

    SPECKLEDMYTROUT, PAULEJ and any others interested.
    C’mon it’s really isn’t all THAT hard.... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    What point are you trying to make? We know the current laws, at least I do. My point was that a... View More

    — Posted by Alexia

    Point being is that according to the driver’s handbook you can pass in other than a passing zone.
    From the handbook “Pass with Care Drivers wishing to pass a bicyclist may do so only when there is abundant clearance and no oncoming traffic is in the opposing lane. When passing a bicyclist, always remember the bicyclist is entitled to use of the full lane.”
    And seriously, there are going to be expected variables in any given situation. If police see that you've slowed down due to a bike, school bus, tractor, or elderly motorist travelling slowly down the road do you honestly think you’ll be cited for driving to slow?

  • Alexia Jun 2, 3:07 p.m.

    SPECKLEDMYTROUT, PAULEJ and any others interested.
    C’mon it’s really isn’t all THAT hard.... View More

    — Posted by Classified

    What point are you trying to make? We know the current laws, at least I do. My point was that a vehicle should be able to pass a slow moving object (like a bike) even in a no passing zone. No passing zones are often marked with consideration of a car trying to pass another car. They need a lot of distance to do that. Passing a bike requires very little distance.

    There is also the speed issue. It's dangerous for a car to drive at 20mph down the road in a 55mph zone, which is why one can get ticketed for driving too slowly. From the manual you reference: "Studies show that the vehicle moving at a speed considerably below the posted limit is much more likely to cause or be involved in a crash than the vehicle moving at a normal speed."

    Bottom line is that bikes can increase the chances of having a crash. Fortunately, most people do quickly pass bikes to avoid this risk.

  • M2Two Jun 2, 3:05 p.m.

    We live in the Holly Springs area off of Avent Ferry and I can tell you it was a mess. The police were confusing everyone. At one intersection I saw a policeman tell someone to go, then stop them, back and forth. We didn't know where we could turn and the police clearly didn't know what they were doing. New Hill Holeman is a dangerous road and I constantly see bicyclist in packs with cars trying to pass. I've heard Apex has a law that they can only be 2 abreast...maybe Holly Springs should consider the same. Hopefully this will be worked out so that no one else gets hurt.

  • Classified Jun 2, 2:43 p.m.

    SPECKLEDMYTROUT, PAULEJ and any others interested.
    C’mon it’s really isn’t all THAT hard. I’ve provided links to NC DOT driving and cycling handbooks. As one would expect there is all the information needed to know how to operate an automobile in proximity to bicycles and vice versa. For the driving manual please refer to chapter six.
    http://www.ncdot.gov/download/dmv/handbooks_NCDL_English.pdf
    http://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/download/bikeped_laws_Guidebook-Part-1.pdf

  • geoherb1 Jun 2, 2:42 p.m.

    Roads were build for vehicles, not exclusively for bikes. Many bike riders that I encounter act... View More

    Apparently you don't notice the same things when automobile drivers do them. I frequently see them fail to use their turn signals. Stop signs seem to be just a suggestion for many. They slow down but don't come to a stop. Red light cameras wouldn't be such a money maker if drivers did not run red lights so often. Most automobile drivers don't obey the law when it comes to speed limits either.

  • carpe Jun 2, 2:20 p.m.

    I am trying to remember the last time I saw a headline which stated "Small Vehicle Driver Charged."

    WRAL swears they have no agenda, but anytime a SUV is invoved it is noted, which is not done in the headlines of other crashes.

  • sinenomine Jun 2, 2:13 p.m.

    Like I said, DISGUSTED2010, I've seen plenty of bad drivers of both cars and bicycles. Apparently you just notice the one category. I notice both.

    Just yesterday I saw a motorcyclist turn left from Six Forks Road onto Newton Road. The light was red. He looked around in all directions, presumably to make sure there were no police officers around, and then went right through the red signal.

    Don't give me the bunk that it's always the cyclist's fault. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

  • Classified Jun 2, 2:05 p.m.

    The "elitist" bike riders DO own the road, just as much as the "elitist" drivers of cars,... View More

    — Posted by sinenomine

    Roads were build for vehicles, not exclusively for bikes. Many bike riders that I encounter act... View More

    — Posted by disgusted2010

    This sounds more like a personality conflict between you and some cyclists. While I occasionally witness such as stated it's more the exception than the rule. Try cycling on the road and you will exhibit behavior far worse (and dangerous) than what you are stating. Possibly from drivers who are also viewing cyclist behavior as an affront directed at them personally. People need to relax and learn to share the road. A cyclist’s life should not be put in danger due to someone’s impatience.

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