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In Unusual Reversal of Roles, 2 Cyclists Hurt as They Rear-End Van on Colbert Lane

| March 9, 2017

cyclists rear-end van

The collisions sent the two cyclists forward of the van they rear-ended on Colbert Lane. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Collisions involving vehicles and cyclists usually are the result of a vehicle failing to see a cyclist, of a vehicle veering into a cyclist’s lane or, as a preliminary investigation concluded in the case of a cyclist killed on Palm Coast Parkway Sunday evening, of a cyclist violating vehicles’ right of way. In most such cases, a vehicle ends up striking the cyclist.


The crash involving two cyclists and a van on Colbert Lane in Palm Coast this morning reversed roles: it was the two cyclists who rear-ended the van. Both cyclists were taken to Florida Hospital Flagler with injuries, one of them with a gash to the head. Both were conscious at the scene when authorities arrived, but one of them, according to Lt. Steve Cox, who was in command of the scene for the Flagler Beach Fire Department, was somewhat confused even though he appeared less injured than the other, so both were transported to the hospital.

According to authorities at the scene, the driver of a burgundy Town and Country Chrysler van was heading north and had had pulled over onto the right shoulder, past the white line, to make a phone call. Two-thirds of the van was in the grass, at a segment of Colbert where the road splits into two lanes, with a turning lane into Palm Coast Plantation at Lakeview Drive. The van had pulled over some 50 yards before Lakeview.

The two cyclists, both in the late 40s or early 50s, were riding close to each other behind the van. One of them crashed into the rear of the van, the second cyclist crashed into him, and both scraped along the driver’s side of the van, ripping off part of its side mirror, scraping the van’s side and ending up in front of it: one of the bicycles came to rest a foot or so in front of the van, the other about six or seven feet ahead of it, both straddling the white line. At least one of the cyclists wore a helmet, which was left at the scene. The bicycles did not appear severely damaged.

A deputy estimated the cyclists may have been traveling at 18 mph.

The crash took place at 9:30 and was to be turned over to the Florida Highway Patrol for investigation. None of the identities were released just yet. The van’s driver had a Holly Hill address on her driver’s license, and one of the cyclists is from Ormond Beach. The residence of the second cyclist is not yet known.

The crash did not alter traffic patterns on Colbert Lane, which was lightly traveled this morning. The Flagler Beach Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue responded to the incident.

colbert lane crash

The cyclists struck the van on its left side. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


bikes colbert

One of the bikes. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


colbert lane crash

The second bike. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The driver’s side mirror after the crash. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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49 Responses for “In Unusual Reversal of Roles, 2 Cyclists Hurt as They Rear-End Van on Colbert Lane”

  1. Richard Smith says:

    Well this ought to bring out some interesting posts. Let the flaming begin. Sure hope the cyclists are OK and will live to ride once again. Maybe these two riders need to consider purchasing liability insurance. Assuming that the car driver had insurance but in a state that ranks the highest for the number of uninsured motorists you can never assume anything. The Florida DMV needs to do a better job in revoking licenses and car registrations with no insurance.

  2. Just My 2¢ says:

    Sounds like this driver just pulled off the road onto the bike lane without carefully ensuring no one was behind her.
    Doesn’t mention the age of the van driver – but it did say she was on her phone. Or about to be on her phone.
    Hope everyone will be ok.

  3. deb says:

    thought it was a Florida law that whoever hits you from behind is the responsible party? does that apply to bicyclists who mantra is “share the road”?

  4. Stay safe out there says:

    Of course someone will blame the driver of the van.

  5. blondee says:

    Aren’t there bike paths on Colbert?

  6. Ken Dodge says:

    Her sideview mirror was protruding into the traffic lane so she had not pulled onto the shoulder completely.

  7. Ken Dodge says:

    The paved portion between the line and the grass looks like a bike lane.

  8. Tulip 2 says:

    OMG… really?! Hope the cyclists are ok & pay for the damages to the van. Just last night I was driving on Cypress Point Parkway & here it is dark,a misty rain & see 2 PEOPLE RIDDING BIKES .. look to be in the mid 50’s & DARK clothing!

  9. palmcoaster says:

    Looks to me she pulled on the bike like and press the breaks while using a distracting phone with total disregard for anyone around her that also has the privilege to share the roads whether other motorist or in this case cyclist that probably were riding at about 20 to 30 MPH behind her. What happens with sudden breaks of a vehicle on the middle of fast moving traffic…just tragic!. We know these two riders and they are “experienced road riders” that did not deserved getting hurt for the irresponsibility of a phone distracted driver suddenly breaking on the white line that marks the used as a non designated bike lane area for riders. Unfortunately in Florida yet we do not have the needed cyclist lanes in major roadways as in other states like Arizona have, so here we can see road cyclist at 20 or 30 MPH riding on the narrow shoulder not officially designated or marked for cycling lane yet. Maybe something to think about to propose in Tallahassse on a state that after all the major industry is supposedly to be tourism, right? My best wishes for fast recovery of our two friends cyclist riders. As for the phone distracted motorist needs to be properly addressed in court before her phone distractions at the steering wheel hurts or kills someone else.

  10. Mark says:

    There is a sidewalk but the last time I tried to ride it there were sections so covers with sand you couldn’t safely ride through on a road bike.

  11. Dave says:

    That van was not over all the way and not in am emergency so using the phone can wait

  12. Mark says:

    Florida needs to have a strictly enforced hands free law for in car phone use. Just driving around town 8 of 10 people I see have their phones out. Assuming that the van cut them off as I can’t see two experienced riders just plowing into a vehicle that had been stopped, people need to be more engaged and aware of their surroundings when driving. This is also the reason I started riding with cameras on my bike after being run off the road by a driver not paying attention.

  13. Beth says:

    I agree. Road cyclists can travel at a pretty fast clip making it difficult to share sidewalks with strollers, skateboarders, walkers, etc… Colorado also has shoulder lanes specifically for bicyclists. Much safer for everyone. Cars who drive into the bike lanes can get a $200 fine. Florida is a great state for year round exercise and health. We need to share the roads. Better yet, get out and ride! Signs would also help on these busy roads.

  14. JasonB says:

    If the cyclists could stop in time, they were following too close.

  15. Tim says:

    It is just sad that a number of uninformed folks or supposed funny people from this town we call home, feel they have to comment on something that definitely hurt someone and damaged property and still make lite of it!

  16. Greg says:

    These bicyclists think they own the road around here. At no way in hell do I believe it is the driver of the vans fault. They were just in a rush and god forbid they slow down for anything.

  17. Markingthedays says:

    Until it it proven to me without a doubt that the driver literally swerved in front of them, cutting them off, I will not allow the driver to be blamed for being hit from behind.

    Bicyclists make mistakes too. Hitting a stationary vehicle is ALWAYS the fault of the other driver. In this case, the bicyclists are the “other driver.”

  18. Markingthedays says:

    How do you know it wasn’t an emergency? Were you there?

  19. Surgod88 says:

    Dang, that one bicycle has the front fork and wheel completely snapped off…looks like carbon fiber which would indicate a very forceful impact. 20-30mph seems more accurate on their speed estimate.

  20. woody says:

    The van driver did the right thing to pull over to make a call.I can appreciate that.There is plenty of room to go around,I can’t wait to hear bicyclists story.

  21. Richard Smith says:

    How many of you people have ACTUALLY driven along Colbert Lane that are claiming that there is a bike lane there? From the photos posted in this news article plus actually driving on Colbert Lane while paying attention there is NO DESIGNATED BIKE LANE.

    If you don’t believe me use Google Maps Satellite and “fly” the entire length of Colbert Lane. There isn’t one indication of a designated bike lane in either direction which is clearly marked with a stick figure bike rider and labeled Bike Lane.

    If you think that the little strip of asphalt between the white line and the grass is a designated bike lane then I have some great swamp land for sale in Florida that you might like. Read the Florida Statutes to learn what is a bike lane and what is not.

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2065.html

    For the person making the statement that her mirror was protruding into the traffic lane he must have been there and witnessed the scene first hand otherwise I see at least one photo in this article that would contradict that claim. The only people who can really verify that information are the officers responding to the accident.

    Personally, I think that this was a clear case of distracted RIDING and not paying attention to vehicles which are stopped in front of you.

  22. anonymus says:

    A State Trooper wanted to give me a citation because I had a hands free device, so what does that tell you about Florida??!!

  23. Fred says:

    Its only gone to get worse. The roads are NOT meant for cars and trucks to share with spandex people.
    Hell, just wait until this weekend when the REAL bikes get into town. News will be full of dead people on the roads for the next 2 weeks.

  24. Concerned Citizen says:

    I hope that the cyclist will be OK. As I wasn’t there I won’t comment on what might have occurred. I will say this though.

    Between the recent fatality in Palm Coast and this mornings accident it seems cycle incidents are on the rise. This is what I have observed over the past few weeks.

    1.) Several incidents of riders swerving out into traffic and failing to properly indicate direction of turn. Know your hand signals and how to use them.

    Signaling Turns (see Sub-section 316.155(2) and 316.157(2), F.S.)
    A signal of intention to turn must be given during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. If a bicyclist needs both hands for control, the signal need not be given continuously.
    A bicyclist may signal intent to turn right either by extending the left hand and arm upward or by extending the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.

    2,) Several incidents of riders failing to observe right of way in crosswalk. Riders also fail to dismount and continue to ride across cross walk in between passing traffic.

    Bicycle Regulations (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)

    A bicyclist must obey all traffic controls and signals.
    A bicyclist must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
    No bicycle may be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped.
    Parents and guardians must not knowingly allow a child or minor ward to violate any provisions of this section.
    Every bicycle must be equipped with a brake or brakes which allow the rider to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

    Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)

    When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
    A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

    3.) Failure to wear reflective clothing in low light or night time conditions and no lighting. Lighting is required on a cycle per Florida law.

    Lighting (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)

    A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from 500 feet to the front and both a red reflector and a lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from 600 feet to the rear.
    Additional lighting is permitted and recommended.

    I have no problem what soever with cyclist and support different charity rides through the year. However a little common sense and courtesy goes a long way in making sure everyone gets home OK.

    I don’t want to be the one who’s day gets wrecked because YOU were careless on a bike.

    Here’s a great link for Florida Bicycle laws. Yes Bicycle riders you have rules of the road as well. :)

    http://floridabicycle.org/bicycle-traffic-law/

  25. Philip says:

    It amazes me that people get so upset and disgruntled about a slower vehicle on the road? Is it really that much trouble to turn the steering wheel a few degrees to safely go around them? Cyclists should actually use the main roadway if there is not a designated bike lane. Soooo cyclists riding in the shoulder are actually being courteous to faster vehicles by trying to stay to the right. I have another question, How many of you pull off the road to talk on the phone? I would bet this driver pulled off directly in front of the cyclists.

  26. no says:

    That is not a bike lane to all who think it is.

  27. H says:

    Not severely damaged!? Is it just me or is the front wheel & fork off the one bike?

  28. Richard Smith says:

    @ Surgod88 – I agree, the speed limit on that stretch of Colbert Lane is any wheres between 45 & 55. 30 mph for bicyclists is not unreasonable. Just look at the dents in the left rear of the van. It takes a good impact to do that.

  29. Komodo Dragon says:

    In the days of my riding, which is in another life, I always looked ahead and knew what was coming way ahead of time. That being said, no expertise required, this driver had to cut into two cyclists without checking for clearance. This can happen easily on Colbert since you pretty much have the road to yourself. She must have just stopped sharply while veering off the road. I’m sure that had it been a sheriff or trooper, we would have been reading a total different story yet occurred exactly. I’m sure that at some point, she passed them but may have been distracted by the damn cell phone. Yes, I concur that many are seen texting while driving with their focus aimed towards their crotch. I see it all day long and anyone can tell who they are since they veer in and out of their lane. Pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way and were not riding on the road. Where she came to a stop after hearing the two thumps was still not in safe distance especially when there was far more room to have parked completely off the road. She distractedly cut them off and they couldn’t avoid making contact with two, not one, two cyclists riding one behind the other. I no longer ride but have no problem remembering the crap I went through in the Big Apple. My 3 cents.

  30. Born and Raise Here says:

    The van was in the bike lane, and should have been completely off the road and in the grass. According to Florida Stature a bicycle is a motor vehicle and has all right to public road. If a vehicle has to pass a bicycle it must allow 3 feet. That is the Law.

  31. Maria Pugliese says:

    Motor vehicles must share the road with cyclists and allow 3 feet when overtaking a cyclist. THIS IS THE LAW. It is not feasible for a cyclist reaching speeds in excess of 20mph to ride on a sidewalk. I know one of the cyclists, he’s an experienced solid rider. This leads me to believe that this woman cut them off while trying to pull off the road – which she did improperly as her car was technically still on the road occupying the shoulder. So far it appears as if the driver is at fault.

  32. Cathy Harrison says:

    Mini Van drivers the worst! Most distracted-always on phone, eating, etc. Mini pulled directly onto BIKE PATH to make a Phone Call! Another horrible Palm Coast driver! Stay home to eat, drink and make calls!

  33. Old Lady says:

    See these two men so many times racing aroun.in that area. Hope they realize that a bike is considered as a motor vehicle and they are liable for the lady’s mirror .

  34. DRedder says:

    Street lights and sidewalks could have saved this van

  35. BOB says:

    BIKE vs CAR accidents…even if the bike rider is 100% RIGHT! they LOSE!! Quote all the state laws & rules you want… Motor vehicles & bicycles cannot SHARE THE ROAD. The rider on the bike almost ALWAYS goes to the hospital.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Did the driver pull over and come to a quick stop?? Maybe BUT it is still the responsibility of the “vehicle” behind to be able to stop or avoid hitting the vehicle in front. The van driver may have pulled over and stopped quickly BUT also how often do you see the spandex bike riders ridding with their heads down looking just feet in front of them.

  37. Richard Smith says:

    And a bicycle is a motor vehicle which means in order to pass a stopped vehicle it must also allow 3 feet, that’s the law! Again there is NO bike lane on Colbert Lane. A bicyclist riding in the road has a right to ride on the edge of the road or in a designated Bike Lane. What is it about people making up laws that don’t exist? Read the laws and the statutes on the books, you may learn something.

  38. happening now says:

    Stay away from THE LOOP!!!!!

  39. Mark says:

    “Did the driver pull over and come to a quick stop?? Maybe BUT it is still the responsibility of the “vehicle” behind to be able to stop or avoid hitting the vehicle in front. The van driver may have pulled over and stopped quickly BUT also how often do you see the spandex bike riders ridding with their heads down looking just feet in front of them.” First off if a car cuts in front of you and then hits the brakes and you rear end them it is reckless driving and the car in front is at fault, I know cause I was in a car accident that happened this way and the police sited the leading driver as at fault. Second most cyclist are not looking at their feet they may have their head lowered but they are still looking forward. This is an example of why cyclist shouldn’t ride on the shoulder they should take the lane and force cars to pass them the way they would pass another car by switching lanes. Riding all the way to the right or in the shoulder encourages drivers to try and squeeze by. Also the 3 foot rule is for residential speeds more room should be given at higher speeds, passing a cyclist that close at the 50mph speed limit on that part of Colbert constitutes reckless endangerment.

  40. Patient Driver says:

    The van in the photo is clearly on the right shoulder of the right turn lane, NOT the thru lane. The only way the cyclists would be in a position to hit the rear of the van is if they were planning on turning right, into Palm Coast Plantation.
    Unless the van driver actually ran these two off of the road while stopping, this is 100% the bikers fault. Even if she were to abruptly slam on the brakes directly in front of them, it is physically impossible to stop a 2500 pound minivan in the same distance it would require to stop a bicycle (IE- the bikers should have been able to easily apply the brakes and stop before rear-ending the vehicle if they were paying attention).
    It is becoming tiresome listening to people complain about lights and sidewalks and pedestrian/ bicyclist safety on the roads, most of the time it is the cyclist or pedestrian that is in the wrong (even if it is simply for the fact that they are too stupid to realize that a vehicle traveling on a roadway CANNOT instantly stop because someone is too stupid to get out of the way)

  41. Komodo Dragon says:

    If you were cut off closely without any room, you wouldn’t be able to stop on your bike. When moving off any road to the right, you must be clear and have checked to see if it is safe to do so. In addition, she should have had to signal her intentions, check and if clear, then proceed. Through her own admission, she stated that she pulled over to do whatever with her phone. The uncontrollable urge to answer a phone has caused most accidents and is only getting worse. If a State trooper were following and saw/recorded what happened, those commenting in favor of the van driver would eat their words. I can assure you that if you were the bike rider and was cut off and possibly hit by the van, you wouldn’t be siding with the van driver and tell your story as you have done here in ‘your’ stupid comments. I’m sure the riders were not tailgating the van who more than likely wouldn’t be able to keep up with it. This could have only happened at a tight distance having left her lane crossing the riders and slamming the brakes causing the event since the phone was far more than road safety. A very common occurrence since waiting for the right moment to pull over to answer the stupid phone is nonexistent. You all know what I mean as this may apply to you as well. Just keeping it real.

  42. Fuggetaboutit says:

    The Lance Armstrong wannabe’s are rolling the dice on the roads in Palm Coast. MIght wanna rethink training for the Tour De’ France here in the “Land of Notoriously Bad Drivers”. Common sense tells some that it’s probably not the best choice. But hey, get your spandex on and bet that the dice don’t pass!

  43. Rook says:

    With the number of reader responses here spewing speculation about what really happened, is there any chance for a follow-up with the persons involved in the incident, or is there litigation pending that may prevent such disclosures? Somehow the sheriff’s report doesn’t quite provide enough to go on here.

  44. Beta says:

    There is only 3 people who know what really happened, and since it happened in Palm Coast I would bet the driver intentionally cut off the cyclists. The whole town is full of selfish and inconsiderate drivers.

  45. Charles F. Ericksen, Jr says:

    Yours truly, almost lost his fanny to a dumb driver coming out of the E section @ Easthampton and Belle Terre, yesterday morning at 8AM..Although I was crossing in the crosswalk, with the appropriate WHITE sign illuminated, in my favor, he chose to hit the gas even more to avoid his getting stopped with a caution/red light.. He did not have a clue , that the crossing sign was there ( poorly located) , yet flipped me off, as if It was I who was in the wrong ”..I will find him..He lives in E section , small BMW convertible
    My rules ,, NEVER, repeat NEVER argue with a 3000 pound car… Be Prepared , especially Flagler/PC
    Car drivers know nothing of 3 foot State rule
    Belle Terre at Easthampton, or SR100 are/Is the next fatality location for walkers and bikers
    Colbert is a fast biker route, but BIKERS still have the same right on the roads as cars , but I
    never argue!!

  46. Bob says:

    Bicycle accidents, like all vehicle accidents, are tragic and may bring pain and suffering or maybe even loss of life. Many comments above indicate some writers are not aware that there are Florida Statutes dictating how, where and under what restrictions cyclists may ride on Florida roadways. Basically, a cyclist riding on a roadway must abide by basic rules of the road applicable to all users of that roadway. If you, or someone close to you rides a bicycle on our roadways, please read the Florida statute regulating that activity. ( http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2065.html ).

  47. knightslayer57 says:

    There was no mention about when the driver claimed she was hit. Yeah, she could lie, but if she told the truth, then that would shed a lot of light on the situation. I hope the police ask the person on the other end of the call about how long they were on the conversation before hearing the incident take place on the call. Both would give a better idea of what really happened…if it was the truth. They could check phone records to see how long the call was. If the call was short it would be likely that she was struck shortly after taking it. If the call was long then either she had been pulled over for a while before being struck, or had been carelessly driving while on the phone.

  48. CJ says:

    Think many of you need to leave this up to the investigators – we live in this community and have seen some horrific acts performed by bike riders as well as drivers at this entrance way into our community. You all don’t know the roads according to what I have read here therefore should not be drawing conclusions. We deal with these bike riders all the time and many of them need a course in safety and road courtesy! The article said the driver pulled over to make a call and remember they were all from out of town which could have add to the accident. Hope all were OK.

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