Bicyclist taken to hospital

Published 10:53 am Friday, March 23, 2012

Gold Cross personel tend to a cyclist who was struck by a car in front of the Austin Public Library Thursday morning. — Eric Johsnon/

A scary situation sent one bicyclist to the hospital Thursday morning after she collided with a car at the Austin Public Library.

Melissa Root, 42, entered the library parking lot on her bike while Rod Wenzel, 72, turned right onto Fourth Avenue NE heading west in his car. According to Wenzel and witnesses, neither person saw the other. Wenzel said Root pulled into the parking lot from the lane into which he was turning.

“I’m still a little shook up about it,” Wenzel said awhile after the accident.

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Though the accident happened at slow speeds, Root’s leg was partially run over by Wenzel’s Chevy Impala. She was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin shortly after the crash. According to Mayo Clinic officials, Root was already treated and released. They did not comment on the extent of her injuries; however, the police report states she had bruising on her leg. She was also not wearing a helmet; however, she sustained no head injuries. Doctors treated Root and released her on Thursday.

According to Austin Police Cpt. Dave McKichan, no citations will be issued for the accident. However, McKichan said this accident is a reminder that the early, nice weather means many more pedestrians are on the streets and motorists should be careful.

“It’s a good reminder,” McKichan said. “It’s really nice out. There are a lot more pedestrians than you would expect.”

McKichan also urges bicyclists to wear helmets, as even slow crashes like Thursday’s can cause severe head injuries.