The Chainlink

Four Cyclists Hit in North Carolina While Riding Single File on a Rural Road

Most importantly, I hope all four of the cyclists recover full from this crash. They were riding in a single file line and the driver states that she didn't see them because of a "hill". Let's hope the investigators dig deeper because this truly seems like she was distracted. 

Here's a view of the road at the point of the collision:

All four bicyclists were transported to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh with serious injuries.

The four bicyclists all have non-life-threatening injuries and were identified as: Christopher Graham, age 34, Joel Arthur Lawrence, age 57,  Lynn Lashley, 57 and  Michael Dayton, age 60, according to officials.

Donnie Marie Williams, the driver in the crash, did stop at the scene after the crash, officials said.

Williams’ daughter came to the scene and told WNCN that her mother, who was driving, didn’t see the bicyclists until it was too late.

Her mom was too distraught to speak. The daughter, Tiffany McElveen, says her mother was coming up over the hill and didn’t see the cyclists. A car was passing in the other direction and she panicked.

“…she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know whether to hit the other car or to try to miss the bicyclists,” McElveen said.

McElveen said that her mother was “hysterical” when she called her to the scene.

“I really couldn’t hardly understand her. She just kept saying ‘Tiffany I hit somebody, I hit somebody.’ She said ‘come down here, come down here.’ I said ‘where you at’. She told me like ten times, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying because she was so hysterical,” Tiffany McElveen said of her mother, who was not injured.

Full article:

Highway Patrol said two of the victims suffered head injuries.

The victims were listed in the following conditions at WakeMed:

Joel Lawrence, stable
Lynn Lashley, critical
Christopher Graham, stable
Mike Dayton, critical

Additional article:

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Of course, the prior drug charges may or may not be relevant -- only really relevant if she was under the influence when driving at the time. She tested negative for alcohol. No report was provided regarding any blood test for Schedule II substances.

And yeah, why DIDN'T she stop immediately upon impact??

An update on the crash:

Two of the cyclists reportedly suffered head injuries. Lynn Lashley, 57, and Mike Dayton, 60, were still at WakeMed Thursday. Chris Graham, 34, suffered a broken leg and other injuries. Joel Lawrence, 57, suffered bruised ribs and scrapes.

In addition to the reckless driving charge, Williams is charged with improper passing in a curve and four counts of improper passing causing serious bodily injury.

Bond was set at $2,000.

Full article:

Ignoring the details of this situation, I wonder if I were driving and I came upon a situation where I had a choice - run over one or more people on bicycles, or avoid them and get in a head-on crash.  What would I choose?  It is hard for me to predict what I would do, but I imagine I would try to somehow squeeze through, likely hitting both the car and the bicyclists.

Oh yeah, brakes!

Yes, BRAKES!!!!  That after the obvious - don't pass on a curve. Double yellow lines exist for a reason.

Obviously brakes.  I'm not saying don't brake. I'm saying if somehow for some reason you were in this situation, and it was too late to brake and not hit someone, what would you do?

sounds like she shouldn't have a license and should go to jail for awhile to contemplate other people's safety.

I was involved in a similar situation last summer.  2 of my club officers and I were out evaluating a safe bike route for my club's annual fundraising ride.  We were all riding single file close to the shoulder on a 2 lane residential road when an irate woman yelled at us: "Get off the road, that's what the trail is for."  She was yelling and passing us right before a left bend on the road and a van was approaching from the opposite lane.  This woman winded up forcing the van partially off the road as the driver hit the horn and the brake.  The woman didn't bother to even slow down.  My Garmin Vibe camera recorded the whole incident.  Unfortunately, I weren't able to make out the license plate clearly with the sun glare in the video.  One of the person who was riding with me showed the clip to his friend who is a police told him there is nothing he can do without a license plate number.

I was curious as to the status of the investigation and found this update article.  I'm assuming everybody is recovering out of the hospital since the article didn't mention it.  It's good to know the NC State Police are enforcing reckless driving on the woman.



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