I left work about 6pm Friday night. A few blocks from the office (Sixth and Portland, if you are familiar with Minneapolis), I was waiting in the right turn lane at a stop light to make a right turn when a car blew past me on my left. It ran the stop light, nearly being t-boned in the process. Just as my mind was registering, That car just ran a stop light! I saw a body fly into the air, roll over the car's roof, and land in the crosswalk across the street from me.
The reckless driver had hit a bicyclist that was crossing on the green light.
I called 911 within 5 seconds and gave the report. Put on my 4-way flashers and ran across the street to get the license number of the car, which had stopped in the middle of the next block. At least it wasn't a hit and run. Gave the license number to the 911 dispatcher.
People gathered around the fallen bicyclist, comforting her and making sure she didn't move. She appeared to be about 30 and was, thankfully, wearing a helmet. But how much protection did that offer her body when it was struck broadside at (probably) 30mph?
She was conscious although not able to talk. A paramedic arrived within a couple minutes, then police, a fire truck, and an ambulance. The latter crew carefully slid her onto a body board, loaded her onto a stretcher, and sped to to Hennepin County Medical Center, a mere two blocks away.
A police officer at the scene took my name, phone numbers, and recorded what I had seen. I left, feeling shaky and horrible. As soon as I could pull over I stopped and called Younger Son, the bicyclist, needing to talk to someone and knowing that he was the one. That poor woman. I keep seeing that body roll over the car and land -- thud! -- in the street like a broken doll. There may be nightmares tonight.
Life can change so quickly. Hug your loved ones tonight. Drive defensively. Be safe.
ETA: I checked the Twin Cities news sites tonight and didn't find any stories about the accident. I am hoping this means the woman didn't die. Maybe she was only severely bruised. I hope so.