A Virginia woman riding her bike across the pedestrian section of a bridge on Saturday caught video footage of a car approaching her from the opposite direction and knocking her off her bike.
“I saw this vehicle. Oh, my God. Brake. Scream,” Kelley Howell recalls of the Berkley Bridge incident.
“When I realized I was hitting him, there was no way to stop it,” she added.
After Howell was knocked off her bike, the driver stopped. When she questioned him as to why he was on the bridge, he allegedly would not answer the question.
Howell and the driver exchanged information.
She reported the incident to the authorities later that same day, only to receive a surprising response from the Norfolk Police Department: the authorities reportedly told her that they would not be investigating the incident.
Howell says that when she told the authorities that she had a video recording of the incident, the officer reacted by saying, “Oh, maybe your were the person who caused the accident.”
The officer reportedly went on to tell her that he could not investigate the case because he had not been called to the scene at the time of the accident. Elizabeth River Crossings, which maintains rules on the bridge, also reported that it had not received a report of the incident.
“[Norfolk] wants to be a bike-friendly community. It’s hard to see how if they have police officers who don’t feel the need to investigate motorists driving on pedestrian bridges,” Howell said.
Adding to the ambiguity of the accident are reports that the bridge does not have any signs warning vehicle traffic not to enter the pedestrian and bike area of the bridge.
Howell emerged from the incident with bumps and scrapes. Although she maintains that she does not want any money, she has said that she still does want to know what the driver was doing on the bridge.
On Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) confirmed that the driver of the car is a contract bridge worker. VDOT said that the employee has been placed on administrative leave as they investigate the accident.
Warning: Some Strong Language