Triathlete 'lucky to be alive' after being hit by car in Durham

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Triathlete 'lucky to be alive' after being hit by car in Durham
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Alexander was training for the Ironman where she thought she'd be safe.

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- The day after she was released from Duke Hospital, Georgia Alexander looks just as banged up as her carbon road bike.

The 40-year-old single mom from Durham, who competes in Ironman races all over the world, is in braces from head to toe with a fractured neck and back, three fractured ribs and fractured left fibula.

Alexander was training for the Ironman with an 80-mile ride on rural roads in Durham on Saturday morning where she thought she'd be safe.

Just after 9 a.m., the N.C. State Highway Patrol said a 22-year-old man driving a Chevy passenger car north on Pleasant Green Road near Admiral Lane hit Alexander directly from behind.

WItness' called 911 and found Alexander's road ID attached to her mangled bike so they called her emergency contact- her mother Priscilla Russell.

"Well, I knew she'd been hit," said Russell after seeing her daughter arrive by ambulance to Duke Hospital. "It was just awful. It was just awful to see."

Alexander wants all cyclists to be prepared for the worst with a road ID, but also for drivers to pay attention, even on the quiet, country roads.

"They take it for granted- there's not gonna be anybody out here," she said. "Well, I was."

Alexander, a single mother and full-time neuroscientist, will be in braces for the next three months, and hoping her bones will heal.

She used a lot of her races to raise money for foundations she's passionate about. Alexander said perhaps that will be the hardest part of ending her racing career for the foreseeable future.

Deputies charged the driver who hit her with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision with another vehicle.