Reported by: Ryan Kath
Last Update: 9/28 11:10 pm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A bicyclist is nursing several injuries after he said a driver went out of her way to run him off the road.
Chuck Pullium has to carry his bike around in pieces these days. Like him, it is no shape for a spin.
The 65-year-old is nursing a fractured tailbone along with several other cuts and bruises. Pullium sustained the injuries during one of his routine rides around the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport over the weekend—a jaunt he makes several times per week.
On Saturday afternoon, Pullium and his son were riding on NW Lou Holland Drive when they heard a car approach behind them.
“The driver was honking the horn and yelling for us to get off the road,” he said.
The pair tried to move to the right so the car could pass, but the driver kept stepping on the accelerator and then slamming on the brakes, according to Pullium.
After yelling an obscenity, Pullium said the heard the car approach his back tire and then felt the impact.
“I kind of slid down the side of the car. My rear wheel went under the tires. Luckily, my legs didn’t,” Pullium said.
The collision mangled the bike and sent Pullium rolling to the pavement. Adding insult to injury, the driver didn’t stop after the accident.
“I could see her hand out the window, giving us the finger,” he said.
On Monday, the story surprised other bikers along the airport loop. Several regular cyclists told NBC Action News they use the route because it is an easy place to share the road with an occasional car.
Pullium believes the driver works at the airport as an air traffic controller. On Sunday, his son returned to the area and spotted the car parked in the airport lot, according to Pullium, who said the woman was later questioned by police.
He is hoping the driver responsible has to pay the price for a hit and run seemingly motivated by “bike rage.”
Laurie Chipman, the advocacy director for the Kansas City Bicycle Club, said there are incidents of harassment toward bikers all over the city. However, this was the first time she heard of a problem by the downtown airport, which is typically considered a popular and safe spot.
A sergeant with Kansas City’s assault squad confirmed a detective is working the case. As of Monday night, no charges have been filed.