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Feb 28, 2011

Finish Line cycling accident; who is to blame?

While Mark Guy was killed instantly on Friday night, sixteen year old Ethan Neal, was more fortunate. He made it to the finishing line of a cycling race on Saturday morning, but unfortunately he crashed into a pick-up truck. His family is distraught but the injured cyclist says he will be back on the road as soon as he can. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to Neal at his home.

Jose Sanchez

The Belize Cycling Association Saturday Race had the markings of a normal event; senior riders crossed the finish line at Leslie’s Imports without incident, but when three junior riders sprinted to the finish line, sixteen year old Ethan Neal collided with a red pickup truck. The impact was loud from across the road as he hit the windshield and the force then propelled him to the ground.   Neal’s father, a former cyclist and bodybuilder, put the blame in the hands of both cycling association and the driver of the vehicle.

Guy Neal

Guy Neal, Father of Accident Victim

“Why I hold the cycling association responsible is that because they neva had no right procedure in place; when the senior race finish, they all get caught up and noh di worry much bout the junior. How could they allow a vehicle could creep up at that finishing line about five feet away from that finishing line. There was nothing for security was set for the benefit of the cyclist. There was no security there. My son could have been dead, he could have been cripple for life. Fifty odd stitches ain’t no joke for a parent to feel. And we are going to take some measures against them as well as the chiney guy that was involved. Matter of fact, we have already went to see him. So we are trying to work out something with him and if we don’t pull it through with him then we’ll take a civil suit on him.”

Jose Sanchez

“I understand that he said that he will pay for a new bicycle at least.”

Guy Neal

“That was then, but the story is different. Now he is saying that my son is in the wrong. Could you believe that? He was in an official race so how could my son be wrong? He told me and my wife that my son was sprinting with his head down. That’s how a sprinter sprints. That’s how you finish a race in an aerodynamic. How my son could be wrong?”

Battered and bruised, down but not out, the sixteen year old youth is recovering at home.

Ethan Neal, Survived Collision with a Pick-Up

“This is my second year as a part of the B.C.A. I was currently with the CGI junior team and traded over to the Twin Town Cycling team from Cayo.”

Jose Sanchez

“If you could recall the last minute or so of the race, what happened?”

Ethan Neal

“Well as I remember, as we came in for the sprint, one of the guys from Uprising made a jump for the line and as trying to grab him, I jumped also but I drifted over to the left and coming to the line as I raised my head when I decide that the sprint wasn’t for me. I saw the vehicle in front of me, but the guy Lovell he was cutting into me also but he also saw the vehicle and he cut out to the right.  So I couldn’t cut to the right. So I tried cutting to the left but the guy was continue rolling towards me so only my right knee called the indicator of the vehicle which pitched me there.”

Ruth Neal

Ruth Neal, Mother of Accident Victim

“Lack of proper safety guidelines being implemented and that includes both control at the end of the race as well as the presence of properly trained medical technicians or practitioners. Even in the absence of an ambulance, of course an ambulance is best, but even without that, you need somebody who has some first-aid knowledge at least to render aid.”

Jose Sanchez

“So there was no one there to assist your son?”

Ruth Neal

“No it was the bystanders who came to his aid and I want to say thanks to them for it, except that because they didn’t fully understand the implications of what was being done, if Ethan had sustained spinal injury he could have been crippled. Some people might feel that I am being ungrateful. It’s not being ungrateful. It’s the fact that you should not move somebody who may have sustained spinal injuries; it can lead to serious damage and even paralysis. So in future they need to consider that before they move somebody when that person is hurt.”

Jose Sanchez

“Your son says this is the sport he is going to stick with. So are you going to be supporting him in the future in this endeavor?”

Ruth Neal

“I have been in the background because I know that his father being an ex-cyclist prefers to take a front seat, but after this I am definitely going to be in the foreground because as far as I am concerned, I will have to make sure that the sport is safer not only for my son, but for the other young people out there.”

Jose Sanchez

“Do you still consider staying in this sport?”

Ethan Neal

“Oh yes, surely! I won’t stop.”

Jose Sanchez

“How long before you make a full recovery?”

Ethan Neal

“The doctor said two to three weeks before the cuts and stuff will heal up properly.”

When he is recovered, Neal will be back on the cycling circuit. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

There has been no comment from the Cycling Association.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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10 Responses for “Finish Line cycling accident; who is to blame?”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    THIS should lead to NEW REGULATIONS and SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR CYCLISTS ……..

  2. Politically Correct says:

    when will afrocentric belizeans realize that it is racist to use the term ” Chiney man” or “panya” or spanish.

  3. Sugar says:

    who is to blame????….who was the one running the show?? thats who to blame…downright negligence…..

  4. Lee Ting says:

    I no see why my lee bredda hafu pay fu di bicycle when his pickup truk de pan di carek side a di road.

  5. william freda says:

    It is obvious that the road was not closed to traffic; I blame the organizers for not taking the proper
    Safety precautions can’t really blame the driver of the pickup truck.

  6. wit out struggle there is no progress says:

    I agree its not the drivers fault…….Officials of the race should have been there. Wit all do respect, at least the driver is willling to pay for the bike. Guy Neal is only trying to get as much as he can from the driver. Bad Guy. U should sue the Association fot not having enough security. Its there fault.

  7. ME says:

    Well its obvious that roads are meant for cars and motorcycles and not for idiot cyclists….. i feel indifferent….

  8. Orlando says:

    Hey ME,

    U are a freaking IDIOT and I am very, very, sorry for the woman that pissed you into this world! why don’t you go break your neck up a cow’s @$$? there are three different type of people in this world, unfortunately you are not on this list, so you good for nothing !@#$%^&, if and just if you live to see my age and keep your pot head above water for some unseen reason, maybe your @$$ will get old enought for you to look back and say I was a arrogant, selfish and still a foolish, God have mercy on you soul!

  9. BZe Dude says:

    @ Me: I agree with Orlando that you really are an Idiot!! Don’t be so stupud? This wasn’t any cyclist riding without due care on the road. He was in an official race where he is to be given protection in the beginning, during, and ending of the race!! I guess legally speaking it isn’t the drivers fault but im sure he could have done something to avoid it!! every1knows that you move to the side when a race is coming! Did he actually think cyclists in a race should ride around him because he doesn’t want to move to the side!! I guess he’ s an idiot as well. The association should have mad sure evrything was safe!!! I HOPE THEY LEARN to avoid any similar incident in the future!!

  10. womaninrage says:

    I do not know why people dat do not have anything proper to say, just done shut the %$*^ up!!! God damn it!!! What if Ethan was ur son?? @$$#0!3

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