Cyclists believe driver deserves citation after fellow rider struck

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 10:20 PM

LA MARQUE, Texas -- The cycling community is voicing a lot of concern after an accident that left a 23-year-old injured from head to toe.

It happened Saturday morning on TX-146 in La Marque.

A group of riders were traveling from Market Square in downtown Houston to Galveston to train for the MS 150.

The accident brought the ride to a screeching halt 40 miles in.

“It was excruciating to say the least,” explained Greg Chapa. “From what I hear from witnesses, I was wrapped around the bike.”

Greg Chapa was the last in line in a group of riders.

According to fellow cyclists, he was driving on the far right hand side of the lane on a narrow strip of shoulder. An impact from a car sent him airborne.

“I was lucky enough to walk away from this. Lots of people in the past haven’t had the same luck,” said Chapa.

Chapa is now recovering at UTMB in Galveston. He has road rash covering his body, is missing several teeth and is suffering from a broken vertebrae and hemorrhaging on his brain.

A portion of his calf muscle had to be removed.

According to Chapa, the La Marque officer who showed up at the hospital told him the damage to the bike indicated he was in the wrong.

“I can’t begin to tell you how annoyed, how sad, how angry I am,” said fellow rider Cindy Laguna.

Cindy Laguna believes police should’ve cited the driver.

She feels the responding officers made up their minds quickly.

“I walked to the officer and asked, 'Are you going to ticket him?' He said, 'He doesn’t have enough evidence,'” said Laguna. “I’m just mad. More needs to be done to make people aware that I’m human. Pay attention.”

La Marque police declined to comment on specifics other than calling the accident an active investigation.

Whatever the outcome, Chapa plans to get back on a bike as soon as he’s healed.

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