Cyclist OK after vehicle collision

Accident highlights importance of road safety for motorists, cyclists


— Kathleen Cline has had her share of close calls while cycling, but until Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs resident had avoided a collision with a car.

Cline was nearing the end of a Tuesday afternoon bike ride when she collided with a pickup that attempted to make a left turn in front of her. Cline remembers hitting her brakes as hard as she could and swerving across the road. She remembers nothing after the collision.

The accident, at Fish Creek Falls Road and Alpine Court, left Cline with a fractured pelvis, a mild concussion, a cut over one of her eyes and a bad case of road rash.

She was transported by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries. Cline was released Friday.

Cline was wearing her helmet at the time of the accident. She says it might have saved her life.

"That was critical," Cline said. "The helmet definitely did what it was supposed to do."

Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said Charlotte Wilson of Clark, the driver of the pickup that hit Cline, will be ticketed for careless driving resulting in bodily injury. Wilson wasn't ticketed Tuesday because officers were unsure of the extent of Cline's injuries, Rae said.

Wilson told officers she never saw Cline. She moved her truck out of the road and rushed to assist Cline after the accident, Rae said.

Cline, speaking from her hospital bed Thursday, said Wilson called her to apologize.

"I have no hard feelings," Cline said. "She just felt really horrible."

The accident serves as a reminder to cyclists and motorists that with the winter coming to an end, both groups need to be alert, Cline and Rae said.

"Be on the lookout," Rae said. "I think people are not as defensive as drivers in the winter months. They're used to seeing large vehicles, and bicyclists are sometimes difficult to see."

Cyclists have the right of way in incidents such as Tuesday's, Rae said. He urged cyclists and drivers to pay attention to their surroundings and to drive and ride defensively.

Cline urged cyclists to always wear their helmets, no matter how short the ride. She also said cyclists should wear bright clothing, be aware of vehicles around them and ride slower in areas of high traffic.


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