My eyes are filled with tears and my stomach turns in knots this morning. I have just awoke to the most unimaginably horrible news: Last night a group of cyclists in Los Angeles were plowed into by a drunk driver who was reportedly looking at her phone. According to reports, 11 cyclists were seriously injured, several of which are in critical condition, including one male who was nearly killed (Roger, I am praying for you with all my heart), one woman who is currently in the ICU, and another woman who is still unconscious. Another woman sustained a broken leg. You are all in my prayers as I sit here wishing I could do much more.
The report from ABC News states:
BALDWIN VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A driver slammed into a group of about 50 bicyclists in Baldwin Village, injuring nearly a dozen people.
The crash happened early Thursday morning on the 5900 block of West Jefferson Place.
A woman driving the car was arrested on suspicion of DUI, officials said. The driver told police she was looking down at her phone when she crashed into the bike riders.
Authorities said 11 people were hurt. Nine of those people were hospitalized, and one of them was listed in critical condition.
The bicyclists, organized by Midnight Ridazz, ride together every Wednesday night. The group was waiting on the curb for more of its members to come when all of a sudden the crash occurred.
“I saw her first, and then I started calling everybody out, ‘Hey everybody, merge right, get out of the bike lanes to the sidewalk,'” said one bicyclist. “She slows down. She sees us, I think, and I could see her engine rev, and she just takes everybody out.”
The incident remained under investigation.
And from AP:
Driver crashes into pack of LA bicyclists; 9 hurt
(AP) – 2 hours ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials and witnesses say a group of bicyclists on a midnight ride in Los Angeles were mowed down by a suspected drunken driver who was using a cell phone.
Los Angeles fire spokesman Erik Scott says nine bicyclists were hurt, six of them seriously, when a white car with a woman behind the wheel slammed into the group early Thursday.
Police Officer Bruce Borihanh says the driver has been arrested and booked for investigation of drunken driving. Her name isn’t available.
Witnesses tell KTTV Fox 11 that the driver was on the phone when she crashed into the group of about 100 bicyclists about 8 miles south of downtown Los Angeles near the border with Culver City.
The Koreatown bicycling group gets together for weekly midnight rides in the city.
Car vs. cyclists in Culver City (KTLA-TV)
6:12 a.m. PDT, June 16, 2011
CULVER CITY, Calif. (KTLA) — Several bicyclists were hospitalized early Thursday, two in critical condition, after they were struck by a suspected drunk driver in Culver City.
The crash was reported just before 2 a.m. along Jefferson Boulevard at Hertzler Road.
A group of about 100 bicyclists had just visited Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook when some stopped in the bike path along Jefferson Boulevard to wait for fellow cyclists to catch up to them.
That’s when group members say a Honda Civic came speeding down the roadway and plowed into the bicyclists.
The driver revved her engine, hopped a curb and “just took everybody out,” Alex, a cyclist, said.
Witnesses say one cyclist was dragged by the car.
Fire officials say 11 people were injured, two critically. All were being treated at local hospitals for their injuries.
The cyclists ride in a large group every Wednesday night and say they’ve never seen anything like this happen.
The driver is facing felony DUI charges, according to police.
As the lives of those who have been hit have been undoubtedly changed irreversibly, I can only hope that a severe and just sentence is meted out, and that everyone and anyone who values human life will stand as ally for these riders. For updates on the community and to voice your solidarity, please check here.
UPDATE: VIDEO FROM THE SCENE (POST-INCIDENT)