'Felt intentional': Cyclist speaks out after struck in hit and run Sunday in London, Ont.

As London, Ont., police continue to search for the driver involved in a hit and run, one of the cyclists involved is speaking out about the collision.

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Two cyclists struck in hit-and-run, London, Ont. police say

On Sunday at 9 a.m., two cyclists were injured after they were struck by a vehicle near White Oak Road and Harry White Drive, police say.

Both cyclists were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Everything is a bit of a blur,” said Randy Van Puyenbroek, one of the cyclists injured in the collision. “I have a broken collarbone, a pretty big bruise and kind of a road rash. My friend landed more face-first, I mean his helmet I think really saved him. He has a cracked cheekbone.”

Van Puyenbroek has been a member of the London Cycling Club since moving to London in 2017. At the time of the collision, he was out with three other cyclists travelling together.

“We heard a car honking at us and typically we don’t get a lot of honking,” he explained, adding that especially on country roads, groups ride tight to the right side of the road with the recommended two cyclists side by side.

“It was a section of curvy road that we were just kind of riding through, and the next thing I hear is the truck coming up on my left and it felt like an intentional swerve into us.”

Van Puyenbroek said the two riders behind him were able to stop and did not sustain any injuries. He added that one rider attempted to take a photo of the vehicle, but said it was too far away to capture a licence plate number.

London police have since provided a picture of the vehicle and describe it as a black Dodge Ram with chrome front and rear bumpers, dark tinted windows, plastic window rain guards and a tonneau cover. Additionally, in the rear window on the passenger side, the vehicle is reported to have a white sticker showing a character similar to Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen.

The vehicle also may have damage to the rear passenger side panel, police say.

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Van Puyenbroek said that it’s “not unusual” for vehicles to sometimes get too close or even become aggressive towards cyclists on the road.

“I’ve experienced cars getting really close but I’ve never experienced anything like this, it was pretty brutal,” he stressed.

He added that two other cyclists and members of the London Cycling Club were running late on Sunday morning and attempted to catch up to the group Van Puyenbroek was in when they experienced a similar situation with the same pickup truck moments before it struck the group.

“The first thing they said when they caught up to us was about the black truck because it took a bit of a swerve at them, but didn’t hit them,” Van Puyenbroek said. “In my mind, this person had it in for cyclists.”

Nathalie Grenier, chair of the London Cycling Club, said it was a “very disturbing event.”

“I was extremely distressed and disturbed when I heard the news because our group was just ahead of that group and the riders were trying to call us to say, ‘Hey, just a black pickup, be very careful.’”

London, Ont., police describe the vehicle as a black Dodge Ram with chrome front and rear bumpers, dark tinted windows, plastic window rain guards and a tonneau cover. Additionally, in the rear window on the passenger side, the vehicle is reported to have a white sticker showing a character similar to Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen.

London, Ont., police describe the vehicle as a black Dodge Ram with chrome front and rear bumpers, dark tinted windows, plastic window rain guards and a tonneau cover. Additionally, in the rear window on the passenger side, the vehicle is reported to have a white sticker showing a character similar to Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen.

London Police Service

Grenier mentioned that, following the collision, it was one of the quietest rides home.

“That was probably one of the hardest rides back home that our group has ever experienced,” she said. “We were all just processing what happened, like, these could have died or been put into a wheelchair and for what? Four or five seconds off their drive time.”

Both Grenier and Van Puyenbroek shared similar appreciation for city officials working to approve cycling infrastructure and hope this experience will highlight the need to ensure safety for all travellers using roadways.

“At the end of the day, I think that with the event, the whole cycling community in the London area is just wanting to create this huge awareness on the dangers that even passing us unsafely can create a crash,” Grenier said. “Vehicles have to give us three feet or a metre of space when passing. We follow the Traffic Act and when something like this happens, it can be worrisome.

“We get yelled at, we get coffee thrown at us, we have people cutting us off, and we’ve had a lot of incidents where vehicles were passing us extremely close. But not to the level that we experienced on Sunday morning,” she continued. “I’m a mother, and I want to come back to my children at the end of my night just like any other driver.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact London police at 519-661-5670.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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