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Wilmington bicyclist hit on Eastwood Road

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A Wilmington man was critically injured Thursday morning after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle. It happened just before 10:00 a.m. on Eastwood Road. Police said 62-year-old Gary Sargent was heading west toward Military Cutoff when a car hit the back of his bike, throwing Sargent over the back of the car and into the road. Sargent was wearing a helmet, but still suffered head trauma. The car's driver stopped at the scene. Charges are pending in the ongoing investigation.

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My long time friend.

Gary was my friend of 47 years. We met in high school and have all those years of memories together. I went to his wedding, watched he and Barb raise their children, attended his daughter's wedding and know how much he cherished his first grandchild. Since I also knew his parents very well, our ties go through four generations of his family. Yes, he loved riding his bike more than anything and went out of his way to find open roads with little traffic. I imagine that day he was returning from his ride to Wrightsville Beach. Unfortunately, and I say this as a fellow cyclist, we sometimes have to travel through congested areas. In a perfect world we would not have to mix bikes with cars, cars with SUV's, and SUV's with big rigs, big always prevails over small. Because we do have to share our space we have rules. Gary always followed rules to the letter. Cyclists are not out to inconvenience drivers. They are there there because they are following traffic laws. Please be aware of them and courteous toward them. As pedestrians, we open doors for each other, step aside for the handicapped, and help people in many ways. Yet when we get into vehicles we forget that cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers are also mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and someone's best friend. Driving a vehicle requires 100% of your attention 100% of the time! Please, they are not 2 wheel, 4 wheel or 18 wheel vehicles – they are fellow human beings! Words can't describe how I will miss my friend Gary.

I was there.

I was there. The woman that hit him was infront of me. I saw him fly over her car and he landed within 10 feet of my car. The woman didn't stop for a good 50 or 75 ft and even then she wasn't shook up until a few minutes into it, but still... It could have been shock, or adrenaline, but she was screaming, "What was he doing in the turning lane?!?!?" That shouldn't be the only question you are screaming. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life, I couldn't do anything for him, and he wasn't at fault at all... I had to sit in my car, in tears, histerical, and look at him just lying in the road. Trust me, the blame needs to be put somewhere.. But this is my opinion...

Mr. Gary Sargent Died 10/23/08, Unrecoverable Brain Trauma

Please share the road. That's all I ask. We can help each other be safer by obeying the rules of the road and driving with courtesy. Gary Sargent was my dear friend Barbara Sargent's husband. A fine gentleman,husband, father and friend that loved riding his bicycle everyday that he could, growing wonderful vegetables in the backyard, sharing his great witty humor and never meeting a stranger. His death is tragic, in his families' hearts and in the community. Blame is not the answer, while responsibility is. We can be considerate and kind to each other. Let's start now please, before another life is needlessly swept away.

Please Pay Attention

I am in utter shock after reading all the horrible, negative comments on this topic. I happened to be driving by within minutes of this accident happening. I felt compelled to stop and pray not only for the injured cyclist but also for the person that hit him. I thought for sure he was dead. As I stood on the side of the road saying a few prayers I noticed the driver of the car sitting in the passenger seat sobbing!!!! It was obviously a horrible ACCIDENT! So rather than join the other bitter - negative people that are going to argue who was at fault and whether or not bicyclists should ride in the road (which is their legal right!) I am going to ask all motorist and cyclist to please be more aware and pay attention when driving or riding. The traffic in Wilmington and the manner in which people drive without signaling or slowing to allow another person an inch of room is SAD! Live in the present moment and be thankful for all that you have. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of both the cyclist and the driver of the vehicle. Do you think when the cyclist and driver left their homes yesterday morning they ever imagined that their life would never be the same? My husband loves to ride his road bike (and does SHARE THE ROAD) with automobiles and now I have to put my trust in GOD and hope each time he goes for a ride that he will be safe. GODSPEED

a kind heart

If only more folks were as caring and thoughtful as you - I have also been praying for the people involved. The world has become such a cynical place - nice to see that people such as Ann are able to have compassion in sight of such an awful unfortunate accident...all should heed her advice to slow down and be aware of what's happening -

The argument that b/c

The argument that b/c cyclists don't pay for them, therefore they shouldn't use them holds no water. I and many other cyclists also drive cars. I ride a bike to work, to the store, the movie theater and everywhere else I can b/c I want to, not b/c I have to. I've lived in this town since the mid-80s and have paid my fair share of taxes. There's no way anyone can tell me that I don't pay for the roads. I have every right to ride my bicycle on the road, any road, and I will not stop doing so. The selfish, irresponsible people like the kid who killed the cyclist on River Rd. deserve the blame for these tragedies not the cyclists doing something that is in their right to do. It'll be interesting to see if the person who hit the cyclist was talking on the phone texting. I'd be willing to bet that he/she was doing something outside of simply driving the car.

All I can say is at least

All I can say is at least the driver of this vehicle stopped. Too many times these drivers take off. At least this one is man enough to do the right thing

Bicycle helmets... bah!

Those bicycle helmets are near worthless, giving a false sense of security. I for one refuse to ride with traffic... it's simply insane to do so. It really ticks me off how some communities outlaw bicyclists on sidewalks and the rest "discourage" it. Auto versus bicyclist always results in the car winning. If the bicyclist gets away with their life, consider themselves lucky. Now bicyclist versus pedestrian? Pedestrian gets back up and keeps on walking. Anyone ever hear of someone walking and being a victim of a hit and run bicyclist? I haven't.

Refuse to ride with traffic?

You DO realize that when someone is making a right out of a driveway or side-street, looks left, then mows you down because you're coming from the wrong direction, that YOU will be the one ticketed, don't you? Do you also realize that if you have a head on with a car while riding against traffic, the combined speeds will make the wreck far worse than if you are moving in the same direction as the vehicle, but at a lower speed? Also, you should check into the number of deaths and serious injuries inflicted upon pedestrians by bicycles. They do NOT belong on sidewalks any more than scooters or Segways. You have every right to use the street (not the sidewalk) as long as you ride WITH traffic. Start making up your own rules and you may wind up dead in the road or visiting your proctologist to have your bike removed after hitting a pedestrian.

Hmmmm..

"I for one refuse to ride with traffic" So you are saying you knowingly break the law....bicycles are supposed to follow traffic patterns and STOP LIGHTS, as well as, STOP SIGNS...which most of the time...THEY DON'T I TO am sick and tired of bicycles and motor-scooters on highways. First, bicycles don't PAY to be on the road...Second 98 percent of them are REAR ENDS anyway and think they own the flippin road.

Bicycles

In response to "hmmm.." Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road just like anyone else and in North Carolina there are laws that pertain to bicycles being on the road. They are subject to the exact same criteria as cars, but cars when they pass a cyclist MUST GIVE A MINIMUM OF 2 FEET CLEARANCE. Usually the only way to be seen on a bicycle/motorscooter/motorcycle is to ride towards the middle of the lane otherwise drivers are completely oblivious or think they can squeeze by just fine which is highly dangerous and often times illegal. And WE do not own the road, which would be nice but we do pay taxes to help maintain them and they are just as much ours as they are for autos. So please pay attention the next time your out and see a cyclist, we are just trying to get some excercise, get to our job, or maybe just joy riding.

No.....

Perhaps I should have said "I refuse to ride in the same lane as traffic". I do follow stop signs and lights... from the dedicated bike path or sidewalk. Sharing a lane with cars is suicidal.

Isnt that what happens...

when you ride in the road? I for one am sick and tired of people riding their bikes in the road all over Wilmington. If this gentleman was hit while trying to cross the road at an intersection, Im sorry it happened. If he got hit because he, for some reason like others, refused to use the bike path or sidewalk to ride on, then I guess that asinine decision cost you this time. I am an avid runner and get out of the way when a car is coming (if I run in the road). Its a simple decision really. Roads are made for cars. Get of them if one is coming from ahead or behind you. Seriously...how stupid are you to ride your bike or run in the road where cars are doing 55 mph. I can understand side roads, neighborhoods etc...but in a 55 mph zone?

Bad Bicycle!

"Charges are pending in the ongoing investigation." I guess that must mean that the bicyclist tried to mow someone over. You made a brilliant observation.

Let me guess...You drive a

Let me guess...You drive a Chevy tahoe..run with a xbox 360 controller in hand...weigh 300 plus...NRA member who believes guns have nothing to do with aa out of control murder rate...I'll stop there as you get my point...My thoughts and prayers go out to this cyclist and his family...He was out doing most likely what he loved as I do and unfortunately got caught by a moron like yourself...No doubt europeans have us beat in many ways..amazing how they make it work...hope gas goes to $10 a gallon...maybe a little bit of rationale will set in>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

gas...

I drive a z-71, and also a gary fisher, and I own guns...funny thing is I have never murdered anyone. yet. When god (obama) outlaws guns, guess who the only folks with them will be (besides law and military)...crooks. Then watch the murders go up. Every crackhead on the road will know that each house is an open door to rob. when gas is 10 bucks I'm staying at your house and making you give me piggy back rides. stick to the forum topic and stay home Nov. 4.

What an absolutely ridiculous comment!

What does what he drives, X-boxes, his weight, or the NRA have to do with anything he posted? It's a bad idea to post while on a Saturday night bender....and if you think Europeans are so superior, there's likely no anchor tied to your butt. Bon voyage! (Please leave before election day.)

Well, if the city would

Well, if the city would actually put in biking trails or bike lanes that are worth anything then we wouldn't have to ride in the road. Also, we pay just as much in taxes as you do for those roads and we should be able to ride on them if we please.

well...

Mayor Saffo's River to Ocean Bike trail (the Eastwood Road portion, oddly enough is already completed)will be a great path. I'm wonderind exactly how this happened because the Eastwood trail is really great. I wonder why the man wasn't on it.

well.....

My guess is that he was not on IT.....because he was heading West from Wrightsville Beach and nearing the intersection of Eastwood and Military Cutoff where there is NO BIKE TRAIL heading in that direction. The man was right where he deserved to be as a cyclist. My only thought is that perhaps he was going to continue straight on Eastwood and the person that hit him may have been getting ready to turn right onto Military Cutoff and therefore it never occured to her that a cyclist would be in the straight lane of a major road. Having said that I still believe he was where he should have been and it was obviously a tragic accident -- PAY ATTENTION EVERYONE!!!!

Here's why....

He was traveling west on Eastwood, towards Military Cutoff. The trail starts on the other side of MC.