PORT RICHEY, Fla. (FOX 13) - Mangled bikes along ridge road is an image Port Richey residents will not soon forget.
The chief of police says a wheelchair liftgate on a Florida Cancer Specialists mobile PET scan and MRI tractor trailer swung open as it traveled along Ridge Road Monday evening.
The open liftgate hit several bicyclists on the sidewalk. Three of the seven were able to get out of the way, but the other four were hit.
“The tractor-trailer was picking up speed, by the time they turned around to warn them, it was just too late,” said Police Chief Gerard DeCanio.
The four cyclists were rushed to a hospital. At least two of them were seriously injured. The truck driver allegedly admitted to police he forgot to secure the gate.
“I said, ‘Are you sure you locked it?’ He was very withdrawn and said, ‘No, I did not,’” the chief said. “[The driver] said, ‘I’m going to pray for them.’”
Investigators are trying to figure out if the driver knew the liftgate had hit someone, at the time it happened, or if he simply just didn’t realize what happened.
“I wouldn’t say charges are off the table,” the chief said regarding possible negligence charges. “But we are not pursuing them at this time.”
Florida Cancer Specialists released a statement saying:
“We are concerned and deeply saddened by this accident. Those who were affected, their families and friends are in our thoughts and prayers, as we await the full investigation by authorities.”
As for now, it’s a horrible accident, which the police chief and the people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around.