Local News

Wake bicyclist urges driver who hit him to come forward

Posted June 20, 2011 9:59 p.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2011 3:52 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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."