It's a sad reality that many hit-and-runs involving cyclists result in serious injury or death while the drivers escape from justice -- but thanks to some luck and two quick-thinking good Samaritans, neither is the case following a dramatic accident last week in Pennsylvania.
Experienced bicyclist Frank Pavlick was recently traveling in the slow-lane over Fahy Bridge in Bethlehem, PA, in accordance with road regulations, when he was hit from behind by a 17-year-old driver. Incredibly, Pavlick was not seriously injured in the crash, particularly considering the damage suffered by his bike -- but the teenage motorist decided not to wait around in case he had been.
Fortunately that day there were others sharing the road who weren't willing to let the reckless driver get away with that serious offense.
The Bethlehem Police describe what happened next:
The driver of the LANTA bus, identified as Richard Gubish, Jr., saw the crash in his rear view mirror and also saw the driver attempting to get away. Mr. Gubish took immediate and decisive action and positioned his bus across the lanes of the bridge, effectively blocking the path of the getaway driver. Another witness to the crash, Judson Smull, stopped to render aid to the injured Pavlick, who implored Smull to go after the offending driver to get the license plate. Smull also took immediate action, and following the lead of Mr. Gubish, positioned his car directly behind the offending vehicle, further blocking any attempt to escape.
Police arrived shortly after to assist Pavlick and to arrest the offending motorist, charging him with accidents involving death or personal injury, a turning violation and overtaking a vehicle on the left. Newly passed legislation in the city required drivers to give four feet of clearance on to cyclists on the roadway.
Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan recently named Gubish and Smull as heroes, officially proclaiming a day in honor of their commitment to ensuring respect for all souls on that share the road. Police Commissioner Jason Schiffer also commended the pair, perhaps knowing just how difficult bringing the driver to justice would have been if not for their actions:
"It warms your heart that people still care about one another enough to put themselves out there and take immediate action and do the right thing."