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Two riders in critical condition, four serious, with motorist suspected of drunken driving

Nine cyclists participating in a regular night-time bike ride in Los Angeles were hospitalised, two of them in a critical condition, after a suspected drunken driver ploughed into the 50-strong group they were riding with on Wednesday night. Four of the cyclists were reported to have suffered serious injuries, while the other three were less seriously hurt in the incident.

The driver, 27-year-old Christine Elisabeth Dahab, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and was held overnight at the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Division Jail before being released yesterday morning, reports the Culver City Patch website.

The cyclists, belonging to the group Midnight Ridazz, were taking part in the weekly Kushtown Wednesdays group ride when the car, a Honda Civic, crashed into them while they were stopped at the side of the road at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, according to one witness.

Cyclist Nathaniel Arias said that the driver “went right through the crowd. People were flying and bikes were destroyed.”

Another, Jose San Juan stated: “I feel this big emotion, I feel like crying. I saw everything, I have that whole picture in my mind when everyone was splatting. I just can’t believe it.”

LAPD officer Lyle Knight said that enquiries were in a "very fluid" state, adding that investigators were trying to establish whether the accident could be attributable in part to the cyclists blocking the road.

The aftermath of the crash was caught in the following AP video news report. According to that report, one of the cyclists, not two, was in a critical condition but was expected to pull through, and the motorist was said to have been using a mobile phone before she hit the group of cyclists.

 

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.