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Student cyclist hit by car on NCSU campus; driver charged

Posted February 19, 2012
Updated February 20, 2012

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— A North Carolina State University student was in serious condition Sunday morning after being hit by a car while riding a bicycle on Dan Allen Drive, officials with N.C. State police said. 

Authorities say Ross Everett Chapman, 19, was turning left onto a service road that leads to the Dan Allen Drive parking deck just before 3 a.m. when he hit Steven Kendal Otto, 21, who was riding a bicycle southbound on Dan Allen Drive. 

The impact of the collision shattered the windshield of Chapman's car. Otto was transported to WakeMed Hospital following the wreck, where he was listed in serious condition Monday morning.

Chapman, also a student at NCSU, was arrested and charged with DWI and provisional DWI. Police say his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested at .12, above the legal limit of .08. Chapman's blood was also being tested for other possible substances, authorities said. 

No other information was released.


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  • sggoodri Feb 21, 2012

    We all hope very much that the cyclist recovers. As a bike commuter who attended State and rode home after late nights working on campus or visiting friends, I identify a lot with him. Many of us worry that the same thing could happen to us, and want to know how we could prevent that from happening, which is why it would be useful to learn what equipment the cyclist was using. Drunk drivers are a hazard to everyone on the road and must be prosecuted, but cyclists also want to know what they can to do themselves to prevent collisions on the real world streets they have.

  • Hammerhead Feb 20, 2012

    I also ride a bike a lot, and love riding at night. I am very visible at night and follow the traffic laws at ALL TIMES. If you can't see me at night, then YOU should not be on the roads because it's nearly impossible to miss me.

  • sarie29322 Feb 20, 2012

    This is so sad for both young men & their families. When it comes down to it this was an accident that could have been prevented but is it really necessary to discuss whether or not the young man should have been riding a bike or wearing a headlight?? He is in severe condition and I'm sure his family doesn't want to see comments about what he should or shouldn't have been doing at this time. I just ask that you please have some compassion and consider the pain that these families are going through. Thank you.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 20, 2012

    I cycle on the roads. But, even with a very bright flashing white light in front and very bright, multi-angle flashing red light in back, some drivers just don't care.

    It seems that some drivers pretend to not see you as an excuse to drive like the guy here who says that bikers shouldn't be on the road. And, no amount of light will fix that. It takes education and, if that doesn't work, jail time.

  • carrboroyouth Feb 20, 2012

    "but you flat out don't expect cyclists at 3am and it isn't a safe activity. " question_why

    I really hope you aren't a driver. You should always expect anything at any hour behind the wheel - and you shouldn't be DRUNK behind the wheel at any time either! A person on a bike should be able to ride whenever he or she wants (given the correct lighting equipment), even at night, be it 8 pm or 3 am.

  • sggoodri Feb 20, 2012

    It's already illegal to ride at night without a headlamp. We don't know if he had one or not yet, though. That stretch of road is downhill for the cyclist, IIRC, so visibility to opposite-direction drivers preparing to turn left is key in this scenario. Fortunately, the latest crop of Cree LED bike headlamps with USB cable recharging options are much brighter, longer lasting, more practical and more affordable than the lamps available when I was a student cycling at State. I like the Cygolite Expilion lights and just bought a 400 lumen model to upgrade from my 250.

  • map1agmachining Feb 20, 2012

    The guy driving the car was wrong for driving drunk.
    : I see way too many bikes being ridden at night without adequate lights. Plus they adequate clothing that reflects in day or night.

  • sinenomine Feb 20, 2012

    question_why, you said you "don't expect cyclists at 3 am" and that riding a bike at that hour should be illegal.

    Do you drive a car? If so you should be prepared to expect ANYTHING at ANY hour, not just when it suits your personal taste. If you DON'T drive with the expectation that something out of the ordinary might happen, at any hour, then you're not a very good driver.

    As for prohibiting the riding of a bike at certain hours, I can see making cycling illegal after dark without proper lights, or making it illegal on certain streets during rush hour, or some similar regulation, but doing away with it everywhere during certain hours? I think not.

  • question_why Feb 20, 2012

    The driver had no business on the road but riding a bike at 3am should be illegal also. We don't know about the bike lighting or the rider state (he may have been drunk also) but you flat out don't expect cyclists at 3am and it isn't a safe activity. I hope for a speedy recovery for the guy but neither of these students showed good judgement.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 20, 2012

    Durham has a cool cop car. It's a regular cop car outfitted with lights and everything, except for the paint job.

    The back half is painted yellow like a taxi and has "Cost: $20 per ride" written on the side. The front half is painted blue like a regular cop car and says, "Cost: $1700 for DWI ride".