Cyclist believes driver who hit him was distracted

Craig Purcell

October 18, 2012 2:43:59 PM PDT
Cyclist Craig Purcell remained hospitalized at WakeMed Thursday - almost a week after nearly losing his life in a car crash. He was riding his bike on Cary Parkway near Kildaire Farm Road in Cary this past weekend when it happened.

"I saw the black car using the left hand turn lane to come across the road," Purcell recalled. "All I could do was brace for impact."

Purcell said the violence of the collision knocked him in a completely different direction from the one he had been travelling in.

"My body hit his car. I could hear it. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. I hit the ground. As soon as I hit the ground, I knew I was in trouble," he said.

Purcell suffered a long list of injuries that includes broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He now faces months of rehabilitation.

According to the accident report, speed was not a factor in the crash. The driver who hit Purcell was cited for failure to yield in a turn. Purcell told ABC11 he believes the driver was likely distracted.

But, he and other cyclists say there are too many accidents and near misses between cars and people on bikes. He's urging more respect and attention to safety.

"I have a right to that road just like any other car does," said Purcell.

Cyclists are required by law to follow the same rules on the road as drivers, and drivers are required to treat bikes the same way they would any other vehicle.

"Slow down. Share the road. Respect that we're out there, even if you don't like to do it. As cyclists, we have to share the road too," Purcell offered.

For more on the laws regarding cyclists in North Carolina, go to:

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