BRADENTON — A female bicyclist was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital Friday after being hit by a car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The accident at Cortez Road and Fifth Street West was reported at 3:41 p.m. According to FHP Trooper R. Baez, who investigated the crash, the vehicle was moving in traffic just before the collision.
“The pedal cyclist started coming across — through traffic — didn’t see the vehicle,” he said.
That’s when Louise Brown, the driver, hit the woman.
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“Everybody was moving and I was in this lane (the right lane), and she ran between all the traffic,” the Bradenton resident said as she stood in the Toys R Us parking lot. “By the time she got to me, I had no choice. I hit the brakes.”
Still shaken, Brown stood beside her sister, Bobbie Barton, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
“I’m nervous, but thank God she’s not hurt. I mean, she’s hurt but she could have been killed,” Brown said. “She could have been under my car.”
A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy at the scene spoke to Brown, Barton and Farjana Thahrin, the victim’s daughter.
After speaking to the deputy, the 18-year-old Thahrin stood on the sidewalk with two other women, her mother’s blue bicycle propped up beside her. A basket in front of the bicycle held black ballet flats.
“We are really afraid,” she said before she wheeled her mother’s bicycle away from the scene.
After the bicyclist was hit, Barton said she and Brown cradled the woman in their arms.
“We held her and cuddled her,” Barton said. “We said, ‘It’s going to be OK. We’re getting somebody to help.’ We couldn’t move her.”
The woman wasn’t wearing a helmet, they said.
“If something had happened to her, it would have been hard to know that — even if it wasn’t my fault — that somebody died,” Brown said, her eyes watering. “If she had been under there (the car), I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life.”
FHP Trooper Baez said he hadn’t determined whether charges would be filed. He had no information on the extent of the bicyclist’s injuries.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.