3 cyclists ended up in the hospital, but trucker broke no law, police say

3 cyclists ended up in the hospital, but trucker broke no law, police say

CHARLOTTE, NC (Joe Marusak/The Charlotte Observer) - The driver of an 18-wheeler that collided with three bicyclists will not be charged because the cyclists were participating in an unsanctioned race, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said Friday.

The cyclists told police the trucker turned into their path, causing the collision, according to a police report of the incident in a northeast Charlotte industrial area Tuesday night. All three ended up in the hospital.

However, investigators said, the cyclists did not have permission to be racing on city streets, and the trucker was not at fault.

The cyclists smacked into the trailer part of the 18-wheeler at the intersection of General Commerce Drive and Industrial Center Circle near Orr Road,. according to a police diagram of the wreck. Orr Road leads to North Tryon Street.

The cyclists told police the roads were marked in the middle with orange cones to keep oncoming traffic from their race lane, the police report says.

The cyclists said the truck traveled into their lane and they were unable to stop to avoid the collision.

The Charlotte trucker told police he was southbound on General Commerce Drive toward Industrial Center Circle and that most of the orange cones were in his lane. He said he was already slowing to turn left onto Industrial Center Circle when the bikes hit the trailer behind his truck.

Mark Hoffman, who recently opened a triathlon shop in Charlotte, was the most seriously injured of the cyclists. He broke two ribs and two vertebrae and received 10 staples in his head, friends said on a Go Fund Me site they established to help with his medical bills.

As of Friday afternoon, 252 people had contributed a total of $19,375 on the site toward a $20,000 goal.