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Bicyclist in Madeira Beach critically injured after collision with garbage truck

The bicyclist couldn’t stop before hitting the garbage truck because she was riding downhill, witnesses told deputies.

MADEIRA BEACH — A 44-year-old bicyclist is in critical condition after a garbage truck entered a bike lane on Saturday morning and she struck its passenger side, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Deputies say the crash happened around 7:30 a.m. in the northbound bike lane of Gulf Boulevard in Madeira Beach, at the end of a bridge near John’s Pass. The garbage truck was traveling on Gulf Boulevard and was attempting to turn onto 129th Avenue West when it entered the designated bike lane.

Julie Henning, of Alexandria, Virginia, couldn’t stop her bike in time from hitting the City of Madeira Beach garbage truck because she was riding downhill, witnesses told deputies. She was ejected from her bike on impact.

Henning was transported to the trauma center Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with critical injuries. Deputies said in a release that she was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The release did not say if charges would be brought against John Leppert, 38, who was driving the garbage truck.

Deputies say the investigation is ongoing.