No Charges for Driver of Truck That Severed Ex-Pro Cyclist Phil Zajicek's Arm
Update: We've been updating you about the story of Boulder's Phil Zajicek, a former professional cyclist whose arm was severed during a horrific crash that took place in March; see our previous coverage below.
The latest: Authorities have decided not to prosecute Joseph Ayer, the driver of the truck that hit Zajicek — and the cyclist won't be cited, either.
Meanwhile, Zajicek remains hospitalized nearly two months after the gruesome incident.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Zajicek was riding "at a high rate of speed" on the 900 block of Flagstaff Road when he crossed the center line and struck Ayer's 2007 Chevy pickup. A metal part of the truck's flatbed came into contact with Zajicek's arm, resulting in a de facto amputation.
In the end, investigators decided against formally assessing fault against either Ayer or Zajicek. As such, the matter will go down simply as a terrible accident.
After the crash, Zajicek was placed in a medical coma. Regarding his current condition, his wife, Elizabeth, posted earlier this week on a GoFundMe page created to help the family deal with costs; at this writing, more than $77,000 has been pledged toward a goal of $300,000.
Here's what she had to say:
I'd like to sincerely thank everyone for their generous donations, as well as the truly overwhelming amount of community support and well wishes for my husband. I look forward to a day when Phil can personally thank every single one of you himself. Phil has been relocated to a fantastic hospital that better suits his recovery needs and is progressing every single day.
Those who are lucky enough to know Phil, understand that he's a private guy — so please be patient as we continue to update this feed. Please continue sending positive thoughts and prayers, and we'll provide more updates when the time is right.
Continue to our earlier reports.
Update, 7:47 a.m. March 22: Earlier today, we told you about the continuing medical challenges facing famed Colorado budtender Lauren Hoover, who was badly injured in a car crash earlier this month.
The situation is equally serious for Boulder's Phil Zajicek, a former professional cyclist whose arm was severed in a collision with a truck during a March 15 bike ride; see our previous coverage below.
A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for Zajicek's medical care, and its goal of $300,000 speaks volumes.
So, too, does the introduction, which reveals that a week after the crash, Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma after the crash, for which no charges have been pressed thus far.
The page offers additional details about the injuries Zajicek sustained in addition to the severed arm, including "multiple facial fractures, numerous broken ribs, a badly fractured femur and a head injury."
Zajicek is the father of two children: three-year-old Eleanor and four-year-old Elouise. At this writing, more than $12,000 has been pledged to help defray the costs of his care. To visit the GoFundMe page, click here.
We send positive thoughts to Phil Zajicek, as well as to his friends, family and loved ones.
Here's the GoFundMe introduction, followed by our earlier report.
Around lunchtime on Tuesday March 15th, Phil Zajicek met some friends for a quick ride up Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a climb and descent that he has done hundreds, if not a thousand times, without incident.
On this day however, something went terribly wrong and Phil was involved in a horrific collision with a truck that was traveling uphill. Phil’s left arm was severed instantly, he sustained multiple facial fractures, numerous broken ribs, a badly fractured femur, and a head injury. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit in a medically induced coma. His wife Elizabeth has been at his bedside nearly 24 hours a day since the accident.
The emotional, physical, and financial burden that the Zajiceks now face is enormous and urgent. We urge you to contribute to Phil’s medical fund and support his wife and two precious children, Elouise, 4 and Eleanor, 3. From day one Phil has always been the most devoted, attentive, and loving husband and father that one could imagine.
He truly loves being a husband and a dad, and his family is absolutely everything to him. Phil is always smiling, always supportive, the friend we are all lucky to have. He is the toughest guy I know, and he is fighting for his life right now. Any support you give will help lessen the unimaginable burden that his young family currently faces. Phil was the primary breadwinner for his wonderful family. The medical bills and rehabilitation will be staggering.
Thanks so much for your support. We are Phil's friends and family and will be providing updates on his condition as often as possible.
Original post, 8:25 a.m. March 17: Colorado is a mecca for cyclists around the world — but it can also be a dangerous place to ride.
In January, we reported about the conviction of cycling critic Patrick Ward in the death of Michel Van Duym.
Flanagan's young son sent a letter to the judge and prosecutors in the case that included the line, "Zachary chose a beer over my dad."
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The latest cycling-related incident wasn't fatal, but it's shocking nonetheless: Former pro cyclist Phil Zajicek lost his arm after he was hit by a truck on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder.
Flagstaff Mountain was featured as a stage in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge for reasons that are made clear in the following video.
As first reported by Velo News, a cycling-centric website, Zajicek was riding on Flagstaff Mountain with a group of a half-dozen or so other biking enthusiasts around lunchtime on Tuesday, March 15.
That's when he collided with a flat-bed truck.
Zajicek's arm was completely severed by the impact.
The Boulder Daily Camera's Paul Aiken tweeted the following photo from the scene.
After being rushed to an area hospital, Zajicek was said to be in serious condition.
However, he's expected to survive.
As noted by CyclingTips.com, Zajicek was a solid performer on the professional cycling scene before blood doping ended his career.
He raced for prominent teams such as Mercury, Saturn and, most recently, Fly-V Australia. The site points out that he notched an overall victory in the 2007 Cascade Cycling Classic, came in ahead of Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer to top the mountain stage of the 2009 Tour of the Gila, and finished in the top ten in such events as the Tour of Britain, and California's Amgen Tour.
But Zajicek tested positive for the stimulant cathine in 2004.
And in 2011, the U.S. Doping Agency banned him from competition for life after seeing evidence that he'd purchased EPO from ex-pro cyclist Joe Papp.
But while his professional cycling life ended five years ago, Zajicek clearly still relished riding.
We wish him a speedy recovery — and remind drivers to be aware of cyclists on Colorado roadways.
Look below to see two interviews with Zajicek circa 2010, prior to the ban.
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