October 26, 2011
A 45-year-old German man who’d plotted a 10-week bicycle tour of the United States was critically injured on October 8, when his bicycle was hit by a commercial truck near Roanoke, Virginia.
The Roanoke Times reports that the victim, from Bad Laer, Germany, now lies in a coma and remains on life support at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. His bicycle was hit by a 1998 Freightliner truck driven by a 46-year-old Marion man.
Around 3 p.m. on the Saturday of the accident, the truck driver was traveling about 55 miles per hour on Virginia 100 in Pulaski County when he swerved to the right and hit the cyclist, throwing him several feet onto an embankment. The victim was then airlifted to Roanoke.
The driver was charged with reckless driving and driving on a suspended license and will appear before a judge in December.
No defects have been found in either the bike or truck, and drugs and alcohol have been eliminated as a possible factor.
The bicyclist had been on a 10-week, self-guided tour of the United States, with designs on riding from New York to Miami. He had kept a blog along the way about the people he met, also posting the photos he’d taken.