Bike helmet crushed, but head fine

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A white paneled delivery truck ran over a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student's head on Division Street Friday afternoon (May 11) and, except for a concussion, he wasn't hurt.

Ryan Lipscomb, 26, said he was riding his bicycle pretty fast down the East Isthmus Bike Path where it parallels Eastwood Drive on Madison's east side just before 3 p.m. Eastwood had a green light, so the crosswalk for the bike path showed a white walk sign, Lipscomb said.

He saw the large truck, the kind that usually makes deliveries to offices, coming down Eastwood, preparing to make a right turn onto Division Street. Lipscomb said he could tell the truck wasn't going to stop. So Lipscomb slammed on his brakes, flipping his bike and throwing himself into the street. He landed right at the intersection of Eastwood and Division.

The truck ran over his head.

"I didn't see it coming, but I sure felt it roll over my head. It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head."

His helmet, a Giro, was crushed, but Lipscomb's head was fine.

Madison Police Department Sgt. Chris Boyd said the officer at the scene urged Lipscomb to keep the helmet. He did. It is all flattened and mangled and broken, unlike his head.

Even though the truck did not stop, Boyd initially refused to call the incident a hit-and-run. She said the police were not sure that the truck driver knew that someone had been hit. But Sgt. Bernie Gonzalez said later in the evening that the accident report calls it a hit-and-run.

Lipscomb agrees with Gonzalez.

"The truck driver definitely would have known. You know when you run over a curb and my head was definitely higher than a curb." Moreover, Lipscomb said, he was already in the street as the truck was turning. "He had to have seen me."

He was taken to University Hospital, but was released by about 6 p.m. "I'm OK except for a concussion," he said Friday night about 10 p.m.

This story is reprinted by permission of The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.

By Mary Yeater Rathbun
The Capital Times

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