Bicyclist Struck By Car, Seriously Injured

SMITHFIELD – A Smithfield man sustained serious injuries after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car. The accident was reported Wednesday at 6:53am on Outlet Center Drive approximately 35 feet from S. Equity Drive.

Smithfield Police said Keenan Elbert Surles, age 27, was riding his bicycle northbound on the inside travel lane of Outlet Center Drive when he was struck from behind by a 2016 Mazda driven by Mary Daniels Hinnant, age 72, of Kenly.

According to an accident report, Hinnant merged from the right to left lane and struck the bicycle with the front left side bumper. Hinnant told police she could not see the bicycle due to the time of morning. A witness to the crash also told police they did not see the bicycle prior to the impact.

The report said Surles was wearing dark clothing, had no reflective gear, and there were no lights on the bicycle. Police said Hinnant was traveling at an estimated 30 mph in a 45 mph zone when the collision occurred. The bicyclist was traveling at approximately 5 mph.

Surles was rushed to WakeMed with serious injuries.

Hinnant was not injured. Following the crash investigation, police cited her for an unsafe lane change.

6 COMMENTS

  1. How about charging the bicycle rider for improper equipment couldn’t be seen.seemsthe law is one sided with this case

  2. Why are bicyclists allowed to ride in the middle “turn lanes”, unless they are turning? Highway 301 has lots of bicyclists doing the very same thing, which is very dangerous. To top it off, still dark outside, wearing dark clothing and no reflectors. Sounds to me, the person on the bicycle should have gotten the citation, not the driver of the car that hit him.

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