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Cyclist Critically Injured in Wreck

Posted March 26, 2008

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— A bicyclist who was hit by a truck early Tuesday remained in critical condition Wednesday, police said.

Dorothy A. Debruler, 46, of 6791 Buttermere Drive, was eastbound on Cliffdale Road near Town Creek Drive at about 6:45 a.m.  Tuesday when she veered into the path of a Freightliner truck driven by Stephen M. Stilwell, 47, of Huntersville, police said.

Stilwell tried to avoid the collision by moving to the left, authorities said, but Debruler also moved to the left for an unknown reason, police said.

She was listed in critical condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, police said.

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  • horseonthefly Mar 26, 2008

    I'm sorry to revive a dead horse, but reading comments from before, one that came up that seems to always come up is about cyclist doing ____ that breaks the law. I hear that a lot but you know what, I see drivers doing ____ all the time, and you as a driver probably exceed the speed limit, and whether or not you get a ticket for it, you're breaking the law. Anyway, my point is that even if you're the perfect driving angel who has never intentionally broken a single law, does a cyclist breaking one or many law(s) by ____ make them deserving of the death penalty? In essence this is what you give the cyclist when you allow better judgement to become clouded by the need for retribution.

    From the limited information WRAL has provided, that does not seem to be the case in this incident and I pray for a speedy recovery for both driver and rider. In the mean time, you are probably not terribly busy if you are reading this so here's something entertaining to watch:
    http://www.dothetest.co.uk

  • slugolicious Mar 26, 2008

    I bike commute from Holly Springs to North Cary and one of the problems is a lack of road alternatives. I can go up Holly Springs Rd or Kildaire Farm Rd - neither of which is ideal, although HS Rd is worse. With the widening of KF in the Lochmere area, the plans are for a wider right lane to accommodate both motor vehicles and bikes, so that'll be nice. In the meantime, I try to ride predictably, although there are quite a few potholes on KF Rd which a bike needs to avoid. Like most riders, if you take a route often enough, you know where the holes are and can slowly adjust before you get there.

  • fyiarp Mar 26, 2008

    I don't think anyone is opposed to more bike lanes. When cyclists are on roads with absolutely no shoulder, it's just dangerous for everyone. More bike lanes might actually promote healthier lifestyles, i.e. more people biking.

  • OncomingStorm Mar 26, 2008

    I agree DurhamDude!

    Of course, as a cyclist who has been twice hit by cars in broad daylight (@ noon on a Sunday both times), all I can say is that 99% are vehicles are wll mannered to us and 90% of the cyclists I see obey all the traffic laws pertinent to the road. Sure the road isn't safe, between things that can pop our tires, the bad shoulders and the faster traffic whizzing by, but using the berm is an imperfect solution for an imperfect world.

    It may be this lady had a medical condition that brought on this crisis, and we may never know, so all we can do is wish her a safe and speedy recovery, and the trucker all the peace of mind one can have under the circumstances. I'd hate to be in either of their shoes, but it could have been any of us.

  • fatchanceimwrong Mar 26, 2008

    We had quite a bit of debate on the issue of bicycle riders on the roads a day or so ago. Regardless of where people stand on the issue, this is the end result and a tragic example of the dangers that bike riders bring on themselves & others.

  • DurhamDude Mar 26, 2008

    This is North Carolina, you can't expect the DOT to think about wider shoulders for bicyclist. It's already tough enough for them to figure out how to lay the pavement for vehicle traffic.

  • Rocknhorse Mar 26, 2008

    What a sad story for both the cyclist AND the truck driver.

    I'm sure I'll receive a lot of criticism for this comment, but I do not like to see cyclists on the road. It's certainly not that I have a problem with cyclists, but I wish there were designated bike lanes. It is unsafe to be driving down the road at a posted speed limit and come upon a cyclist (or a moped) that is going significantly UNDER the speed limit.

    I hope the cyclist will be OK! I hope the driver of the truck will be able to put this incident out of their mind!