Photo courtesy of Jason Ferrante
Piece of side-view mirror recovered from crash
A 16-year-old male cyclist was hit by a driver of a blue BMW on Aug. 2 around 7:20 p.m., according to a close friend of the victim.
Pittsburgh Police say they have witnesses who say the cyclist ran a red light.
Jason Ferrante, of East Liberty and a friend of the victim, who arrived on the scene 15 minutes after the collision, says that witnesses believed the car was speeding and potentially driving as fast as 50 mph. According to witnesses, the car continued down East Liberty Boulevard at a good speed after the collision.
Ferrante says a piece of what appears to be the plastic covering of the right side-view mirror was dislodged from the car and recovered by a witness. Ferrante is now in possession of the piece of the mirror and says he will turn it into the police later today.
Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike PGH, has been working with authorities to help identify the driver of the car and told City Paper
that a blue BMW matching witnesses descriptions (broken right side side-view mirror, with missing plastic cover, and cracked windshield on the right side) has been found by police.
The cyclist, whose name has not been released, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian and is in stable condition, says Public Safety spokesperson Sonya Toler. “He is doing alright, he has some broken bones, but he is okay,” says Ferrante.
Ferrante says that the cyclist was wearing salmon colored shorts and a white t-shirt and borrowed a friend’s bike to take a “spur of the moment” ride; it was not known if the rider was wearing a helmet. He was heading south on North Highland and started through the intersection when the car, heading west on East Liberty Boulevard, sped in front of him, causing the collision.
“It is a coward-like act to hit a someone and then run,” says Ferrante.
North Highland Avenue has marked sharrows — markings on the street to designate shared lanes for bicycles and cars — on the road and East Liberty Boulevard has designated bike lanes, but Bricker says that the intersection could use better design to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Bricker adds that the last time it was designed was 2007, before the city began considering cyclists and pedestrians more heavily.
“I am not saying it caused the crash, but the intersection is designed so cars can go fast,” Bricker says.
And while Bricker is appalled at how the crash occurred with a car allegedly speeding, he is pleased with the response from those in the bike community.
Bricker says that more than 15,000 people saw their post on Facebook, and that input from followers helped to identify the vehicle.
“One of the ways we are really successful is getting the word out to enough people,” says Bricker.
: This piece was updated at 4:35 p.m. An earlier version did not include information from a Pittsburgh Police press release, which was sent after the initial posting.
Also, in an earlier version of this story, Jason Ferrante — a friend of the injured cyclist — said he believed the cyclist was hit after he went through a green light. However, after being shown enhanced video of the accident by police, Ferrante said he believes the light was red when the cyclist went through.