A Virginia woman was cruising along on the bike and pedestrian section of a major bridge crossing the Elizabeth River when her bicycle-mounted camera recorded a car coming from the opposite direction.
“I saw this vehicle. Oh, my God. Brake. Scream,” those were the thoughts that Kelley Howell shared with WVEC-TV of the encounter on the Berkley Bridge toward Norfolk, Virginia, Saturday. ”When I realized I was hitting him, there was no way to stop it.”
Howell’s footage goes on to show her being knocked off her bike. When she asked the driver, who stopped, why he was on the bridge, Howell told WVEC he wouldn’t answer that question.
Watch Howell’s video (Content warning: some strong language):
Though she and the driver exchanged information, Howell told WVEC later when she reported the issue to the authorities, she was told they wouldn’t be investigating the incident.
“I said, ‘I have video if you want to see,’ and he said, ‘Oh, why do you have video?’ And I explained that I use it to educate, and he said, ‘Oh maybe you were the person who caused the accident,’” Howell told the news station of her interaction later that day with a Norfolk Police Department officer.
Howell said the officer could not investigate the case because he was not called to the scene at the time. Howell told the Virginian-Pilot that neither she nor the driver had a cellphone at the time to report the incident to the police.
“[Norfolk] wants to be a bike-friendly community. It’s hard to see how if they have police officers who don’t feel the need to investigate motorists driving on pedestrian bridges,” Howell told the Pilot.
Elizabeth River Crossings, which maintains rules on the pedestrian/bike bridge, told the news station it did not receive a report of the incident. It also said that Howell should contact the Virginia Department of Transportation about the issue.
That said, WVEC did contact VDOT, which had pointed it to Elizabeth River Crossings and noted that it referred Howell to Norfolk police.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that Howell went to the hospital Sunday, making it more difficult for authorities to prove whatever she went for was in relation to Saturday’s accident.
At this point, officials told the newspaper that it’s up to Howell to deal personally with the driver and his insurance company.
The woman told WVEC she doesn’t want money but wants to figure out what the driver was doing on the bridge in the first place.
Making the issue even more complicated, according to the Pilot, is that there aren’t any signs on the bridge saying vehicle traffic should not enter the pedestrian and bike area. There are signs warning of possible VDOT vehicles in this section though.
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