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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reward offered in hit-and-run accidents that injure cyclists

In response to hit-and-run accidents that injured cyclists in the St. Louis area, the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation has set up a Hit and Run Justice Fund to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit and run motorists who injure or kill a cyclist.

You either can make the donation online or you can send the donation to the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, Hit and Run Justice Fund, P.O. Box 23086, St. Louis, MO 63156.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Three bicyclists have been hit by motorists in two crashes since Saturday, and in both cases, motorists fled from the scene.

A pickup struck two bicyclists Saturday afternoon on Olive Street Road, near Eatherton Road, in Chesterfield, Mo., Chesterfield police say. The truck, towing a horse trailer, passed three bicyclists riding single file and the trailer clipped two of them, pushing them off their bicycles and into a ditch.

About 5:40 p.m. Monday, a driver in a dark SUV struck a St. Louis man riding his mountain bike at Cole Street and Broadway in downtown St. Louis. KMOV-TV, Channel 4, in St. Louis also had a segment about the downtown accident, and you can see raw video, photos and a brief story online at KMOV.com.

The St. Louis BikeFed's fund originally was prompted by the downtown St. Louis accident, but BikeFed has extended the fund to other accidents.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has upped the ante on the reward in the downtown accident. Saying that "hit and run is a cowardly action," Slay has added $500 to reward.

"This effort is completely grassroots," Russ Willis, chair of the Bike Fed's committee on policy and advocacy said in a press release. "We had hundreds of dollars in pledges even before we made the fund official. The ‘Hit and Run Justice Fund’ will continue even after this case. Especially now, with motorists being pushed off Highway 40/64 and onto surface roads, there is a heightened awareness among cyclists of the difficulties of sharing the roads with motorists."

Witnesses of the two accidents are urged to contact St. Louis or Chesterfield police.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 10:27 AM

I was just hit and run, but no witnesses, no police report, even though I spent three days in the hospital and still dazed about it, two weeks later.

I think this problem is greatly under-reported
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