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Mar 24, 2016

Motorist Mows Down American Cyclists Training for Cross Country

A group of US cyclists training on the George Price Highway this morning was hit by a vehicle near mile thirteen driven by a seventy-four year old Denton Hendy. All six were hospitalized and it is likely that four of them will not participate in the Cross Country Race on Holy Saturday.  Chris Harkey, a two-time Cross Country winner and his wife Lorrie are among the injured. She was the first to be hit. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Starlight, a four-man American cycling team and two of their wives were knocked down this morning around nine-thirty between miles thirteen and fourteen on the George Price Highway as the group rode their bicycles towards Belize City. A Tacoma pickup came up from behind and struck the six cyclists, who were riding two abreast on the right hand side of highway. Chris Harkey’s wife was first to be hit; crushing the windshield before they were all slammed to the pavement.

 

Chris Harkey

Chris Harkey, Cyclist

“It was a group of six of us…me, my wife and four other riders. We had ride up to Cheers at mile thirty-two and then we turned around and we were at mile fourteen when we were struck by a car and next thing we know we are on the side of the road all looking for help. Very thankful that I’m talking to you right now. And the others are bagged down and getting taken care of, my wife getting the more serious of the injuries being hit first and then the car continue coming through the rest of us. She is…I think we just want to make sure that her head, cause she did go into the windshield—burst out the main windshield—head took a lot of hit, her face is kinda messed up, scratched. But the helmet saved her life, so we are very thankful.”

 

Keith Clarke

Sgt. Keith Clarke, Acting O.C., Hattieville Police

“Upon arrival it was observed that a female Caucasian, Misses Lorrie Harkey, forty-years of North Carolina was strapped to a medical stretcher on the right shoulder of the highway when heading towards Belize City. Also observed in the right lane of the highway was a brown in color Toyota Tacoma pickup with the front windshield partially shattered. Six damaged professional cycling bicycles were also observed on the right shoulder of the highway about ten feet in front of where the pickup was.”

 

The cyclists were all rushed to the Belize Medical Associates where they are currently receiving treatment. It is not known if seventy-four year old Denton Hendy was distracted and didn’t see the group, but there was no incoming traffic and the driver could have avoided hitting the cyclist.

 

Chris Harkey

“We were getting courtesy the whole way. Now we are fearful of the bus, but they were very courteous so it is really a shock. It was a little small pickup truck. Nothing coming at us head-on, but this struck us from behind.”

 

Sgt. Keith Clarke

“Mister Hendy is claiming that the cyclists were in the wrong. They were, I think he mentioned they were riding two abreast and he is claiming that Mister Harkey simply turned into his vehicle and he was unable to avoid hitting her.”

 

Harkey is a two-time back to back cross country champion; he won the garland in 2003 and 2004. He along with three others: John Delone, Scottie Weiss and David Flynn were in country training for the upcoming 2016 Cross Country Cycling Race on Holy Saturday. But with cyclists injured and bicycles destroyed, it is uncertain whether either will be competing.

 

Chris Harkey

“Right now we’re not really too excited about the race anymore. That’s what we were training for and we always wanna do it every year—compete at a higher level—but right now, we’re in an emotional blow right now. So, we don’t know. I’m not gonna jump the gun. But we do know that a lot of the bikes were damaged, so we don’t even know if my bike’s still road ride-able. We know that John Delone, one of the top riders here, his bike is not together. And I think he’s broke his wrist or hand either way so I don’t think he will be able to. Scottie Weiss maybe and myself. My wife and another female Jackie, who is David Flynn’s wife. She is right now taking x-rays. Her lower back and hip area because again the car hit us all from behind.”

 

Hendy has since been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Duane Moody for News Five.

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8 Responses for “Motorist Mows Down American Cyclists Training for Cross Country”

  1. Spike says:

    Americans have never really been treated very well in Belize anyhow.

  2. ridiculous says:

    shame on u bze cycling association

  3. cayo says:

    Many times these idiot cyclists ride 2 abreast in the middle of the Western Highway and I have had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them or oncoming traffic many many times. Belize roads with no paved shoulders are not suitable for this kind of dangerous endeavour. Until Belize gets a paved shoulder for cyclists, I would not advise cycling at all. Sorry to hear about the injuries but I am not suprised and not very sympathetic to the cyclists either. My 2 cents stay the ^&^% off the highway!!

  4. succotzman says:

    I have had the same issues with the cyclists on the highway. Some of them are so ignorant and hold up traffic for multiple cars, while they ride down the middle of the highway and not giving motorists room to pass. Cyclists are not allowed on freeways in the US or Canada for a reason ( and those are good roads).
    In yet in Belize with rough roads, no space to pass and single lane traffic at high rates of speed we have these STUPID cyclists riding down the middle of the highway. What do you expect to happen???
    Come on guys smarten up!!!! No sympathy here.

  5. Hatari says:

    Accidents like this are inevitable given the very poor condition of our highways and total lack of traffic enforcement. Even the police don’t pay any attention to the traffic laws. When is the last time you saw a police vehicle stop at a stop sign?

  6. Belizean Pride says:

    and to add salt to injury we have our guys every single day riding obstructing traffic and yet they are beaten by guatemalans on a national bike race. mein what the hell do they practice every single day for???? this is crazy man. Better just call off this cycling thing and done lets focus on our national security being drag by fools in gov.

  7. Belizestar says:

    I express little sympathy for the cyclists on belizean highways.

  8. Mellow Belizean says:

    Just a thought: reading the recent news reports we see that when Alwayne Cherrington, Ezekiel McKoy, or any Belizean is hurt they’re automatically taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. When Americans are hurt in Belize, they’re automatically rushed to the Belize Medical Associates. What gives? Is Karl Heusner not good enough for the Americans? And if it isn’t, why take consistently take Belizeans there?

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