Another St. Louis Area Bicyclist Says He Was Intentionally Struck by Motorist

Categories: Bikes

james_lewallen.jpg
Courtesy of James Lewallen
James Lewallen stands astride his bike after the 100-mile Tour de Cure race in St. Louis two months prior to a run-in with a motorist.

For the second time in a little more than a week, a St. Louis area bicyclist says he was intentionally struck by a motorist.

James Lewallen, 21, of Belleville, says he was riding with a group of cyclists Tuesday evening on Lincoln Farm Road in O'Fallon, Illinois when a man in a white Ford F-150 drove up from behind and yelled at them to get off the road.

Lewallen tells Daily RFT he and his fellow cyclists responded that they had every right to use the roadway, which only seemed to enrage the driver more. The motorist then began swerving his truck "acting like he was going to hit us," Lewallen says.

Things got really weird from there.

Lewallen says the driver grabbed a pole from inside the cab of the truck and began waving it out the window in an apparent attempt to strike one of the cyclists. Lewallen and the cyclists yelled out the truck's license plate number hoping the driver might wise up and stop. He didn't.

See also: Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer Accused of Intentionally Striking Cyclist with His Car

The driver then sped up and continued swerving his vehicle and slamming on his brakes as if to get one of the bikers to crash into his rear bumper. Lewallen says he ended up on the right side of the truck near the tailgate when the driver stopped short. Lewallen was about a foot from the curb and put his hand on the truck's tailgate to brace himself. The impact caused his bike to fly out from underneath him. The driver then sped off.

Lewallen contacted the O'Fallon police and filed a report, but says he was told the driver could only be charged with disorderly conduct pending an investigation. Lt. Kerry Andrews of the O'Fallon police department tells Daily RFT that the investigation is still ongoing and couldn't comment on specifics. An arrest has not yet been made.

See also: LISTEN: 911 Callers Tell Dispatcher Sunset Hills Mayor Ran Cyclist Off the Road

Lewallen was part of a group of about 110 cyclists who left Tuesday around 6 p.m. from Bike Surgeon, a bike shop in Shiloh, Illinois. The riders divided into three groups of about 30 to 40 riders each with Lewallen in the advanced group of faster cyclists when the pickup truck approached. Bikers riding behind Lewallan's group say they were also verbally harassed by the same driver.

Lewallen suffered road rash and bruises over his arms and legs following the crash caused by the truck. His hands would have been scrapped up as well had he not been wearing gloves, which are now "demolished."

Jon Greenstreet, one of the owners of Bike Surgeon, says Lewallen's fork is cracked, and there might be other damage as well. Lewallen bought the bike from a professional race team and estimates it's worth about $8,000.

"It's a very unfortunate incident and makes me scratch my head," Greenstreet says. "Why does it take any time to realize this was a felony offense? If this happened car versus car, that guy's in cuffs going home that night in the back of a cruiser."

And it wasn't like the cyclists were significantly slowing traffic Tuesday evening. Lewallen says his bike computer had him traveling at around 28 mph right before the driver slammed on the brakes to try to hit him. The speed limit on the road is 30 mph.

"This is somebody who does not care about the lives of these cyclists," says Michelle Funkenbush, the attorney who represents Randy Murdick, the cyclist allegedly hit by the mayor of Sunset Hills while riding his bike. Funkenbusch does not officially represent Lewallen but was one of the first to learn of the incident this week and posted a message onto the Facebook page Bikelife STL asking if others cyclists had also heard the news.

We'll update as soon as we learn more.

Email the author at mitch.ryals@riverfronttimes.com
.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
320 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

READ SEE THE FRIEND IN THIS VIDEO CLIP THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON MOST PEOPLE HAVE BETRAYED ME CAREFUL IT COULD BE YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU COULD NEVER KNOW OR YOUR BEST FRIEND OR YOUR DOCTOR -MINE I THINK WAS GOING TO LET THEM KILL ME-HE IS INVOLVED DR BEACH READ MARKIE MC NIGHT I NEED DR PHIL DR BEACH HAD A CON MAN IN HIS OFFICE THAT DATED PEGGY AND WAS ON DR PHIL-MY MEDICAL RECORDS WERE STOLEN TOO-WATCH YOURS READ MARKIE MC NIGHTEdit (in 6 minutes)

DeleteShare
DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

est | Top Comments

markie1918 hours ago


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief Trailer

ut_4_me
ut_4_me topcommenter

The biggest mistake the guy in the F-150 made was not backing up over him after hitting him the first time.


BlueMonday
BlueMonday

Keep your slow butts off the road. Get your exercise at a park or drive your bike out to the Katy Trail and ride there. The law should read: You can ride your bike on the road ONLY if you can keep up with the speed limit. We need to get a petition going to change the law.

safe_cyclist
safe_cyclist

I find it truly sad and depressing that so many people here commenting would support someone threatening another person's life over a small delay in traffic.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

Was probably running a stop sign or red light. They want us to share the road, but don't want to follow the rules...sometimes

Trish McGuire
Trish McGuire

Stay out of the damn street. Ride on the bike trails where you ought to bee!!!!

Samson McNeal
Samson McNeal

These idiots think they own the street. They blow through stop signs all the time and never yield. I live in tower grove and see this all the time. They don't respect automobile drivers or the traffic laws. Wanna be safer? Yield or use the side walk.

Samson McNeal
Samson McNeal

Stop acting like you idiots own the street and blowing through stop signs and I bet your be safer. I love in tower grove and these by people ride in the middle of the street when they can use the side walk they blow through stop signs without looking thinking everyone will yield to them and that's just too bad cause until you obey the traffic laws and ride with caution then people will keep getting hit I bet. I don't believe anyone should be hit by a car while riding a bike and I hope all that have been hit are okay. But all you have to do is have respect for the road and other drivers. This goes both ways

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Where does it say the bicycle riders were not obeying the rules of the road?

A Robert Jacques
A Robert Jacques

As a vehicular cyclist, everytime I see one of those dickbags in a jersey fly through an insection, I wanna knock 'em over too.

Jason Sanor
Jason Sanor

What are you saying Jim Gibson's? That the motorists are wrong to be upset that MOST bicyclists who DO NOT observe rules of the road?!?!

Jim Gibbons
Jim Gibbons

What other cyclists have done in the past has nothing to do with the case at hand. Are you suggesting that the motorists actions are some pent-up retaliation against all cyclists in general? Following that logic, I feel that it's appropriate to comment about your irrelevant comment, simply because other people have made stupid comments in the past.

Richard W. Spengemann
Richard W. Spengemann

St Louis is the center piece of liberal activity and they love to break the law. Just supprised you survived.

Steve Pupillo
Steve Pupillo

So next time some a hole decides I am not riding my bike to his/her standards and decides to use a 3500 pound 200 horsepower weapon to try and maim or kill me, I have the right to defend myself and shoot the sob. This would also apply to those that turn their vicious dogs on you just for fun!

Katie Stricker
Katie Stricker

Roy Johnson, I have knocked more than one person off their bike carting something I had off a sidewalk more times than I have run one over...sidewalks are not the place for bikes either. In our town, cyclists and drivers alike, watch out and respect each other And don't typically exhibit road rage towards each other.

Michelle Marie Funkenbusch
Michelle Marie Funkenbusch

In the sunset hills case...the mayors side was in opposition to all the evidence including the 911 tapes and statements from 3 witnesses.

Roy Johnson
Roy Johnson

I honestly do not think that bicycles belong on the roads with cars at all. They aren't cars and cannot keep up with engines, so of course there are going to be fatalities. Ride on the sidewalks where everyone is safer.

Matt Cook
Matt Cook

There are two sides but the mayor's side was riddled with holes.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

c'mon... haven't we all wanted to take a run at the recumbent bicycle guy?

Sherry Hickey
Sherry Hickey

the integrity of this article is invalidated by the usage of the term "ya'll"

Nathan Kromat
Nathan Kromat

Alright time to start Fucking up cars as they pass

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

People should not be dicks to cyclists - yes. That said, you are 200 - 250 pounds versus a 1800 - 6500 pound vehicle. It can not turn as fast or stop as quickly. Both should follow all rules of the road, but should they collide ... which one receives the brunt of impact? Which one should be TWICE as vigilant?

Caleb Geuns
Caleb Geuns

Right or wrong we are talking about peoples lives

Darlene Meyer Yurkins
Darlene Meyer Yurkins

Bicycles are transportation vehicles which should follow the rules of the road like any other vehicle. They are not in the same class as a pedestrian, as a bicyclist running a signal or stop sign at 15-20mph is very likely to collide with a pedestrian and cause injury. I am all for sharing the road and have consideration for the vulnerability of a cyclist, but that sharing needs to go both ways. A bicycle is neither a toy nor a portable exercise machine, it is a vehicle.

Jered Christopher
Jered Christopher

Yes Carl Cook but some cyclist push the envelope and can be very cocky about it. If they want the road and to use it like a motorized vehicle then they should have to use the same rules as a motorized vehicle. Not just pick and choose what to do to accomodate their needs at the time.

Carl Cook
Carl Cook

Pedestrians/cyclists should have the right of way... I know it can be frustrating at times due the hectic schedules of people today but dammitt man, watch where you're going! ;)

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Now there just making shit up to try to get publicity  

Jamie Brockman
Jamie Brockman

Well maybe if they obeyed the rules of the road they wouldn't get hit? Stop at stop signs and don't just fly through traffic.... I am SO annoyed by this. Every morning on my way to work. I'm sorry but one day one of these bicyclists is going to fly in front of someone and get killed, and then the person who hits them is going to have to live with that forever. All because some jerk thinks that they are immune to stopping at stop signs.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Jason Sanor I agree just there are always two sides. The RFT and other media don't print or report both sides. I read it in the little neighborhood newspaper in sappington. Both sided were told. The county police are investigating. Funny even the 911 call the rider says "I'm fine". No one was cited. No ambulance.

Jason Sanor
Jason Sanor

I am in way for any reason condoning this behavior but I've had cyclists run stopsigns right in front of me and get mad at me for almost hitting them . You do have to stop at the stopsigns also.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Print what the mayor replied in sunset hills. I paraphrase. Bike rider came around mayor at a stop sign hit his car on the front quarter panel. Never stopped. Started calling the mayor a MFKR. Mayor proceeded to drive bike rider tried to grab door handle and went off the road. Biker ran the stop sign. Never stopped or slowed down. Print both sides !!

Brandon Teel
Brandon Teel

I hope no one ever considers you or your loved ones fair game.

Russ Squeaky
Russ Squeaky

This stuff happens every day. Start at home and save some lives.

Scott W. Marek Sr.
Scott W. Marek Sr.

I've never heard of a motorist hurt by a bicycle rider..But hear about cyclists hurt all the time.... I'd assume that it's not safe riding on busy streets. Unless you live a few blocks from your work it's not a ideal mode of transportation.. If your doing for exercise there's plenty of places to ride....

Zach Lueker
Zach Lueker

But also a real simple rule. Dont fucking hit people with pipes just because you are angry.

Zach Lueker
Zach Lueker

If you want the protections under the law that applies to people in/on motor vehicles then you have to obey traffic laws. OH wait. No riders ever stop at stop signs or red lights even where I live. Also no turn signals ever.

Gary Berry
Gary Berry

They have full use but when I use my bike I get over to the right so I SHARE THE ROAD

Gary Berry
Gary Berry

Yes side by side. You could not pass

Mitch
Mitch

Jason, almost every motorist I know speeds every day.  Does that mean they all deserve to be killed?  

bikes_and_cars
bikes_and_cars

You are right, only really fast stuff deserves to be on the road. In fact, lets get rid of all the economy cars that can't keep up with the Porsches. We should also not allow large trucks, as they cannot keep up with smaller faster cars. Lets get rid of tractors and road equipment too, since my engine is way more powerful and can out accelerate all of those things.


We should relegate all of those slower things to the sidewalks, where everyone will be safer. 

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...