Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg city council chairwoman's crash ruled an accident

ST. PETERSBURG — A police investigation confirmed Tuesday that the bicycle crash that seriously injured City Council chairwoman Leslie Curran was an accident.

Curran, 54, was thrown from her bike early Monday morning while riding on Fairway Avenue S, police said. She was drafting behind cyclist Brian Wilder when she was injured about 7:40 a.m.

Witnesses told St. Petersburg police that Curran's front tire appeared to touch the rear tire of Wilder, who rode ahead of her.

"The two witnesses saw her front handlebars wobble, and then she crashed in the roadway," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

Another bicyclist, Peter Dilts II, 63, wrecked when he ran into her fallen bike. "He really had no time to react," Proffitt said.

St. Petersburg police traffic homicide investigator Mike Jockers finished his investigation Tuesday after speaking to Dilts and another bicyclist. The only witness yet to be interviewed is Curran herself, who remained hospitalized Tuesday.

She was wearing a helmet when she thrown onto the pavement, police said. But Curran still suffered a serious enough head injury that she was placed in the intensive care unit of Bayfront Medical Center after the accident, according to council members. Curran was conscious after the accident but did not speak, Wilder said.

There was no official update on her condition Tuesday. Mayor Bill Foster said he was briefed but would not make that information public. Curran's family could not be reached for comment.

But the mayor did say that he expects Curran, a mother of three, to return to the council. He doesn't know when, though.

"We anticipate her full recovery and return," Foster said, "and we'll be excited when that moment occurs."

Wilder said Curran was being treated for a severe concussion. Council members said she was placed in a medically induced coma.

Dr. Ferdinand Richards III, an emergency medicine physician at Tampa General Hospital, said that kind of treatment is usually aimed at a significant head injury. He compared it to using an ice pack to treat a sprained ankle before it swells.

"You're trying to slow the process of bruising, the swelling and inflammation, to make it less severe," he said.

Wilder, 59, said the pair were riding into a strong headwind at an estimated 19 mph, with Curran drafting close behind him.

That's a pretty brisk clip, said Dr. Richards, himself an avid bicyclist. He said Tampa General sees a lot of bicyclists injured riding along nearby Bayshore Boulevard. It's critical that bicyclists wear helmets, he said, but that's still no guarantee against serious injury, not when a rider comes to a sudden, hard stop.

"Just think of the position you're in," he said. "You're not protected at all. If you come to a stop you're going over the bike and your head is one of the first things to hit.

"There's no way, at that rate of speed, you can brace yourself for the impact. You can't even get your arms out in front of you."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8472.

St. Petersburg city council chairwoman's crash ruled an accident 08/31/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. It's official: Hillsborough high schools move to 8:30 a.m. start time, elementary schools to go earlier

    K12

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County high schools school will be in session from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. starting in 2018-19, the School Board decided Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

    The Hillsborough County School Board has decided to end a compressed bus schedule that caused an estimated 12,000 children to get to school late every day. Under the new schedule, high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and middle schools at 9:25 a.m. [Times files]
  2. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  3. The topic will be neighborhoods as Kriseman, Baker debate one more time

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, in a candidate forum on Wednesday hosted by the influential Council of Neighborhood Associations.

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, left, and former Mayor Rick Baker during a September forum. The two will will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, during  a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th St. N. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  4. The upcoming Han Solo movie is called ... 'Solo'

    Blogs

    I hope you know what you're doing, Star Wars.

  5. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]