An American cyclist has described how he became lodged in the windscreen of a car after being hit by an alleged drunk driver, who gave no sign of registering the victim’s presence when the latter tried to speak to him.
The incident, which happened in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is reminiscent a tragic one we reported on last week, in which an intoxicated motorist in Brazil drove for nearly four miles with a dying cyclist in his windscreen.
In Saturday evening’s episode in Wisconsin, cyclist Steven Gove luckily suffered nothing worse than cuts and scratches, although doctors had to remove fragments of glass from his eyes.
The 56-year-old had been carrying out a newspaper round on his delivery tricycle when he was struck by a car being driven by a 20-year-old man, reports the Associated Press.
“I was wearing my blue overcoat with my neon reflective vest,” explained Gove. “I had my front and rear flashers on. I have no idea why he didn’t see me.”
Lodged in the vehicle’s front windscreen, he said to the driver: “Hello, I’m the guy you hit on the bicycle.”
There was no response from the motorist, who reportedly drove through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle before finally arriving home. It was only when he parked his car that he noticed the cyclist.
Gove said: “He looked at me and said ‘Who are you? What are you doing in the car?’ He started freaking out: ‘I’m going to jail, I’m going to jail.’”
The cyclist says the motorist locked his car and went into his house, leaving Gove, whose torso and arms were inside the vehicle, to haul the rest of his body inside.
“I righted myself and got out,” he recalled. “I unlocked the passenger’s side door and started walking down the street.”
Police were called by a witness and took the cyclist to hospital. The driver also received hospital treatment for a cut hand.
As of Tuesday morning, he had not yet been formally charged with an offence but is said to be “facing several preliminary charges, including suspicion of drunken driving, suspicion of hit-and-run causing injury and suspicion of failing to render aid.”
The Associated Press adds that a 50-year-old man was killed in Green Bay, Wisconsin in similar circumstances in 2007.
Steven Warrichaiet was imprisoned for 15 years after his car hit Tyrone Ware, the motorist driving home with the victim’s body in his windscreen and leaving it there in the garage while he went inside and fell asleep on the couch.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.