AUBURNDALE (FOX 13) - Two bicyclists who were victims of a hit-and-run driver are struggling to recover.
“I want to get out of this wheelchair and walk again,” 30-year-old bicyclist Alicia Eggersdorf told FOX 13 on Wednesday during her first on-camera interview since the incident happened three weeks ago.
Doctors say it may take Eggersdorf several months before she can walk normally. The crash left her with a fractured back and ribs, broken pelvis, and a punctured lung.
“I thought I was going to get killed,” she said. “I thought I was not going to make it.”
Steve Lampone was riding with Eggersdorf and suffered injuries more severe.
He has undergone a half-dozen surgeries, so far.
The pair was on Spirit Lake Road, riding home from an evening at Eagle Lake.
Deputies later arrested Cody Wheeler of Auburndale and identified him as the driver of the pick-up that hit Eggersdorf and Lampone.
Eggersdorf says she still has nightmares and pain.
“I don’t want to ride a bicycle for a long time,” Eggersdorf told FOX 13. “It might take my life next time."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a recent year, 818 bicyclists were killed on the roads and an estimated 45,000 were injured.
A Ride of Silence was planned to take place in Lakeland and all over the world Wednesday night to bring attention to improving cyclist safety.