ASHEVILLE – A driver in a Ford pickup truck struck a cyclist at the 40 block of Merrimon Avenue near the Shell station off the I-240 exit downtown in the early morning hours of July 10, according to an Asheville Police Department news release.
The cyclist suffered serious injuries, but none that are life-threatening, according to APD. The driver of the pickup, Joshua Charles Andrews, 34, of Cullowhee, was charged with careless and reckless driving, exceeding a safe speed and driving with no operator’s license. Andrews has a court date set for Aug. 10.
Police Capt. Joe Silberman did not answer a question asking if the cyclist had been taken to the hospital.
A section of Merrimon Avenue, Asheville’s highly trafficked central corridor, underwent a road diet earlier this year, which converted the stretch from Midland Road to W.T. Weaver Boulevard from four lanes to three, with 5-foot bicycle lanes installed along both sides of the road.
The location of the collision, which occurred near the I-240 exit ramp on Merrimon, is about one mile to the south of the new road diet section. The incident also occurred close to where a skateboarder was hit and killed May 22.
“One of the reasons Asheville on Bikes supported the road reconfiguration on Merrimon Avenue is because the road hosted 150% more collisions than any road like it in the state of North Carolina,” Mike Sule of Asheville on Bikes told the Citizen Times July 10. “The roads in our city injure and kill more pedestrians and cyclists more than any other city in North Carolina.”
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Buncombe County averages 19 bicycle collisions per year and saw a total of 96 vehicle-bike collisions between 2016 and 2020, according to the most recent data from N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Citizen Times reached out to Andrews but did not receive a response before press time.
Ryley Ober is the Public Safety Reporter for Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. News tips? Email Ryley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support local, daily journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.