Cyclist injured in Angier crash questions how accident happened
Posted February 21
Updated February 23
Angier, N.C. — One of four cyclists struck by a car in Angier Saturday was recovering Sunday night and said that, even though it all happened so fast, he has distinct memories of the moment he realized he’d been hit by a car.
Joel Lawrence said he was second to last in line on a planned 125-mile cycling route with friends Christopher Graham, Lynn Lashley and Michael Dayton when the incident happened at Massengill Pond Road and Sue Drive.
“We were basically riding along the white line on the right-hand side of the road as opposed to being in the middle of the road,” Lawrence explained.
It was just like many other cycling outings, he said, until something didn’t feel fight.
"I don’t remember hearing the car, but I do remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s something going on here,'" he said.
Lawrence said the group was riding a couple of bike lengths apart, but he remembers feeling a push forward and being concerned that he had run into Lashley, who was ahead of him in line.
"All of a sudden, I thought, 'My gosh, I’m going to run into Lynn,’ but she was several lengths ahead, so that’s when I got nudged forward by the car," he said. "I remember seeing Lynn flying through the air, and I think I saw Mike going down ahead of me."
The State Highway Patrol said that all four cyclists were thrown from their bicycles after getting hit by a 1992 Ford Crown Victoria driven by 50-year-old Donnie Marie Williams.
"I saw a car stop way up the road, and then a lady got out, and she came back, and she was just really carrying on," Lawrence recalled.
As their bicycles lay crumpled on the side of the road, Lawrence remembered Lashley and Dayton not looking well at the scene. Dayton was listed in critical condition at WakeMed Tuesday morning night, and Lashley was listed in serious condition.
As his friends recover, Lawrence said he still has questions about how the incident could have happened.
"If I looked back and this had happened and we were riding four-abreast and messing around, but that was not the case this time. We were single-file, spread out," he said.
Highway Patrol officers said charges are pending against Williams and are expected to come down later in the week.