Local News

Cyclist faces long recovery after wreck

Posted August 28, 2008 11:53 a.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2008 9:26 p.m. EDT

— Andrea Amezcua and Justin Gailey were struck from behind on Aug. 18 as they rode bicycles along Rolesville Road near its intersection with Todd Road near Knitghdale.

"My helmet has six cracks in it," Gailey said. "We're both lucky to be alive."

Amezcua remains in WakeMed. Gailey was released after spending four days in the hospital.

"(I had) bruised ribs, bruised lungs, (a) spleen injury, multiple contusions (and) abrasions," he said. "She had a crushed vertebra they had to fuse together. She's in a lot of pain."

Witnesses said a pickup truck was driving fast along the road and didn't stop after the collision. No skid marks were on the road near the scene, and witnesses said they didn't see the pickup's brake lights come on before the bicyclists were hit.

The driver of a pickup truck that the highway patrol says struck the two bicyclists has been rearrested on more serious charges, authorities said Thursday.

Jeffrey Lynn Price, of 6708 Bethany Church Road in Wendell, was charged Tuesday with two counts of serious injury by vehicle. He was being held Thursday in the Wake County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond.

Price was initially charged with driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license because of a prior DWI and failure to decrease speed to avoid a collision. State troopers consulted with the district attorney's office, then lodged the new charges.

Price went home after the wreck and returned to the scene a short time later, when he was arrested.

Amezcua, a mother of two, is expected to be in the hospital for months and to face a long rehabilitation.

"I'll be by her side every day. I told her I was going to be her new training partner," Gailey said.

Friend Pat Nogueira said she is organizing a bicycle safety rally to raise money for Gailey's and Amezuca's medical expenses. The rally will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 21 at MEZ, a restaurant at 5410 Page Road in Durham.

"Nobody deserves anything like this, and you say, 'How can we help? What can we do?" Nogueira said. "It's a horrible situation for everyone involved."