Local News

Wake bicyclist urges driver who hit him to come forward

Posted June 20, 2011
Updated June 21, 2011

— A Fuquay-Varina bicyclist who was thrown into a ditch in a hit-and-run crash Saturday morning is urging the woman who struck him to come forward and is using his story to remind drivers of the rules of the road.

Joe Natale suffered bruises and road burns when a four-door, light brown Honda Accord crashed into him on Hilltop Needmore Road, a two-lane road with a narrow shoulder. 

"The sound was horrific. I remember sliding and hearing plastic from the bike getting torn up," he said. "I said, 'God, don't let somebody else run over me.'"

He landed in a ditch. Natale said the driver drove away from the scene.

"The only thing she replied was, 'Are you okay?' and before I could answer, I kind of stepped back a foot and she just tore off," he said.

Bicyclist urges driver who hit him to come forward Bicyclist urges driver who hit him to come forward

The impact of the crash broke off the sideview mirror of the woman's car, Natale said, and he hopes it will help the state Highway Patrol find her.

Natale said many people don't know that it's illegal to pass a bicycle on a two-lane road when there's an oncoming car and that he hopes the driver responsible for the wreck will come forward.

"If you're going to be responsible for driving a several-thousand-pound vehicle, be conscientious of who else is in the shoulder," he said. "That's what it's there for."


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  • wwwalker Jun 22, 2011

    Let's calculate how much road use tax a cyclist should pay.

    76% of all statistics are made up on the spot, so bear with me.

    If a bicycle weighs 20 lbs and a car weighs 4000 lbs, the bicycle weighs just 0.5% of the 4,000 lb car. The fuel tax for gasoline is $0.325/gal. Let's say the average car gets 25 mpg. That would mean the driver paid $0.013/mile. Now, since a bicycle only weighs a fraction of the car, cyclists should only pay a fraction of the taxes, right? They are only putting a fraction of the wear & tear on the road surface, so they should only pay a fraction of the maintenance. Share the road / share the taxes, right?

    0.5%*$0.013=$0.000065. Take that and multiply by the 3,000 miles per year the average bike-to-work cyclists would probably ride and you get a whopping $0.20/year.

    I will gladly pay a fair $0.20 yearly road tax for the "right" to bike.

  • LtDansMagicLegs Jun 22, 2011

    Today I was running late for work and as I turned out of my neighborhood on a rural 2 lane road there was a cyclist in my lane (I have never seen one on this road in 2+ years I've been living here). It was in an pretty steep uphill curve and he was going very very slow. I waited 20 secs for us to get through the curve and I passed safely. The world moves on. Don't see why people think it's a-ok to run somebody down and kill or severly injure them for making them a few seconds later to their destination.

    I'm sorry some arrogant cyclist ran a stop sign once but I see plenty of mothers in minivans on a cellphone, speeding, swerving, or not paying attention on I40 in the morning. I don't use that as an excuse to run them off the road because they were breaking the law. Or use it as justification when somebody is killed or injured in an unrelated motor vehicle accident. Guess it's totally OK that the young man this weekend was killed by that drunk driver on his motorcycle. I mean I

  • cmryanecu Jun 22, 2011

    if you are considered vehicles then pay taxes like every other vehicle and i will feel like you have a right to be on the road...

  • wind4sail Jun 22, 2011

    cmryanecu....you're Sheriff friend is incorrect. We are considered vehicles and can ride in a pack....

  • Just another bad guy Jun 22, 2011

    Mileage, I know deep down you are right... but I'm so embarrassed to ride because I still have the pink and white tassels on my handlebars.

  • dirkdiggler Jun 21, 2011

    "that is mostly because Dunkin Donuts is much closer and the fuel costs to get to KK is killing me." cost of fuel would be a moot point if you rode a bike.....and you could use the donut for energy to get you back home. win-win :)

  • Just another bad guy Jun 21, 2011

    "Maybe if you swapped out your Krispy Kreme break for a bike ride, you'd understand the joy of cycling."

    It is this kind of elitist comments from the cycling community that I've come to expect. A prime example of the overgeneralizing of the poor poor motorists as fat slaves to Krispy Kreme. Well I'll have you know, I don't eat Krispy Kreme! HA! that is mostly because Dunkin Donuts is much closer and the fuel costs to get to KK is killing me. Plus, half the time I get behind a bicycle rider...but i won't go there.

  • TechRescue Jun 21, 2011

    *sigh* Another injured cyclist, another forum for those who would kill someone just to save a few seconds. Based on the majority logic here, I have a right to run over your child if he's walking down the road (he's in my way, he's slowing me down, and I'm bigger than he is).

    Using the same logic, if I'm in my 7700-lb F-350, do you have to pull your Civic over?

    There's nothing I have to do and nowhere I need to be that's worth killing or injuring someone over. Some of you sound like you look forward to the opportunity.

    Depending on the day, I may be on a 17-lb bike, a 350-lb motorcycle, a 2500-lb Civic, or a 7700-lb truck. I guess I should drive the truck more to give me additional opportunites to kill someone that never meant me any harm.

    Maybe if you swapped out your Krispy Kreme break for a bike ride, you'd understand the joy of cycling.

  • dirkdiggler Jun 21, 2011

    "Here is an interesting thought. One of these inpatient drivers who does not follow laws of the road themselves loses their license. I can't wait to see how they get around as public transportation around here is terrible. All the sudden a bike is not going to seem so crazy."

    LOL That'd never happen, but I do think that part of obtaining a driver's license should be to 'walk a mile in their shoes'...and each driver be subjected to walking down the road where there is no sidewalk, riding a bike down a road complete with traffic signals/stop signs, even do a short, 15 minute stint hanging out with a road construction crew.

    I really believe that possessing the perspective of the other types of folks using the roadways would shed some understanding on folks who might not ever be exposed to the opportunity of walking/riding/working in the road.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 21, 2011

    cmryanecu asked, "How about bikes not yielding to cars like at stop signs and traffic lights?"

    That's illegal. They should be ticketed just as a motor vehicle would. Cars do this all the time and they should be held equally accountable.