Bike hit and run: Fort Collins police say driver to blame in crash that hurt cyclist

Update: A silver Ford Explorer ran through a red light last week in Fort Collins, colliding with a cyclist and sending him flying off his bike before the driver fled from the scene, leaving the cyclist on the ground. So says the police's official accident report, on view below, along with our original interview with Dave Dornan, the 62-year-old cyclist who is now recovering from a hit-and-run crash he can barely remember.

Rebekah Finkle, a community service officer with the Fort Collins Police Department, shares witness accounts from an incident last Tuesday. That's when a Ford Explorer was traveling southbound on South College Avenue by Columbia Road when it ran through a red light. At the same time, Dornan, the cyclist, was headed eastbound.

Finkle says the vehicle collided with the cyclist in a crash that knocked off part of the car's hubcap. But the Explorer continued southbound, and police have been unable to locate the car or a suspect at this writing. While there were several witnesses on the scene, no one caught a license plate or knew the year of the car, and Finkle says there's no footage of the crash.

Assuming that the driver had a valid license and insurance, he or she could eventually be charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor offense.

Finkle says of the cyclist, "He had the right of way. He was going eastbound on a green light."

Here's the full police report and below is our original coverage from last week.

Fort Collins Accident Report

Continue for our original coverage and interview with cyclist Dave Dornan. Original post, December 14, 1:30 p.m: A collision this week sent a 62-year-old cyclist in Fort Collins flying off his bike in a crash he can barely remember. And there's no information from the driver, either; after the collision, the SUV sped off, leaving the cyclist behind. This hit-and-run is the latest high-profile bike-vehicle crash in Colorado and comes just a month after a tragic fatal accident in Denver.

"The car slowed down and then just went on without checking to see if I was okay," says Dornan, who lives in Fort Collins and works in real estate.

At least that's what he was told, and what witnesses have reported.

Dornan says he can't remember the actual collision, which occurred Tuesday afternoon on College Avenue and Columbia Road as he was leaving a shopping center.

"I looked up and the light was definitely green," he says. "I vaguely remember seeing something...but that's where my memory fades."

Witnesses in a nearby car told 7News that the vehicle barely missed hitting them. They said the driver clearly ran through a red light, hitting the cyclist.

The crash apparently sent Dornan and his bike flying and also knocked off the hubcap of the car -- the only clue that remained at the scene.

"They said that the bike went up in the air and I went up in the air...ten feet," Dornan says. "And I flew about fifteen feet from my bike and landed."

He continues, "I guess [the witnesses] came up to me and I kept asking, 'I had the green, I had the green, didn't I?' and they assured me I did," says Dornan. He doesn't remember the immediate aftermath of the crash; his next memory is talking to emergency responders a little while later.

Dornan says he doesn't believe any suspects have been identified yet. We've left a message with the Fort Collins Police Department and will update when and if we hear back.

"It may be too soon to tell all my damages," he says. "I'm walking around okay."

Dornan is taking time off from work. He says he's suffering from pains in his lower spine and other shooting pains in his body.

"Always wear your helmet," he says. "My helmet was cracked -- that could've been my skull."

Continue for more on the accident and a news video from the scene. The worst part, Dornan says, is that the driver didn't stay on the scene.

"I've made mistakes in my car, too," he says. "If these people that hit me had just pulled over and said 'I'm so sorry,' my response would be, 'I know you didn't do it on purpose. Thanks for stopping and checking.' I wouldn't harbor any resentment."

Witnesses nearby were very helpful, Dornan says -- and in general, he feels Fort Collins isn't a city filled with hit-and-run types.

"To leave, I feel bad about that...but that's counter-balanced by all the great civility and human kindness that happened after the fact," he says, adding, "Fort Collins is a wonderful place to ride bikes.... I think about all of the kindness that motorists have shown me."

In recent years, Dornan says, he has become an avid cyclist. "It has become a passion of mine. For me, being on my road bike, getting into a rhythm, it's almost zen-like."

In this case, he's not entirely confident authorities will be able to track down a suspect.

"I don't suppose they have much to go on, and I don't suppose they'll ever catch anybody," he says.

Here's the 7News report.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "William Elliott, ID'd as "Good Samaritan" hit and run driver, may face kidnapping charge"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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