Brain-Injured Cyclist Alleges Street Sweeper Came at Him

Archibald Allen Lee Hegner is suing Denver and the driver
By Lilla Ross,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2017 11:22 AM CST
Brain-Injured Cyclist Alleges Street Sweeper Came at Him
A Colorado cyclist is suing the city of Denver and the street sweeper he says deliberately hit him, causing permanent brain injuries.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

"Show your pride and move your ride on street sweeping day," proclaims the city of Denver in regard to its street-cleaning program. Archibald Allen Lee Hegner says he was trying to do just that a year ago when he was struck—he alleges deliberately—by a street-sweeping machine. Now he's suing the city and the driver, Rodney Ray Fresquez, seeking compensation for emotional distress and the $116,000 cost of treating collision-related injuries, which the suit catalogs as including a traumatic brain injury, two broken ribs, a fractured sacrum, and a torso-length hematoma, the Denver Post reports. The lawsuit filed in US District Court on Monday describes something that sounds like a game of chicken.

On the afternoon of Feb. 29, 2016, Hegner alleges he biked up to an idling street-sweeping machine and steered left around it, only to hear the engine rev and Fresquez begin driving. Fresquez passed Hegner on the right, then Hegner says he biked harder and again passed on the left to avoid the dirt and branches being kicked his way. Then, the suit says, Fresquez passed him again and "suddenly, inexplicably, and without warning" flipped the vehicle around 180 degrees, heading directly at Hegner. Hegner claims he tried to bike up on the sidewalk to get out of the machine's path, but failed and was struck, causing a "permanent impairment of his ability to enjoy a full and complete life," per the suit. A rep for the city attorney's office had no comment. (More cyclist stories.)

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