UVM junior and cyclist, Rose Long of Sutton, Vt., was victim of a hit-and-run on the night of Monday, Sept. 8.
Long, accompanied by friend and former UVM cycling club president, James Patterson, was biking down Pearl Street when she was struck, said Patterson.
The driver was Adam Desjardin, 22, of Vergennes, according to The Burlington Free Press.
Desjardin was driving a red Jeep Cherokee with unregistered tags, Long’s older sister, Amie said.
Both he and Long had green lights, but Desjardin failed to yield and Long collided with the passenger side of the vehicle, Patterson said.
“Rose had really good instincts,” he said, “she stood up rather than hitting head-on, but her face was smashed by the roof rack of the Jeep.”
Before the police arrived, Desjardin had abandoned his vehicle behind Pearl Street Beverage and fled the scene, Patterson said.
He later turned himself in and decided to plead not guilty, Amie Long said.
The accused was arraigned last Thursday Sept. 11 in the Chittenden District Court and he will appear again in court on Oct. 8, according to The Burlington Free Press.
There were a lot of witnesses who called the paramedics and police as soon as the accident occurred, Amie Long said.
“Because of all the back-up traffic, it took a while for the ambulance to arrive,” Patterson said. “But I held Rose’s hand the entire time that we waited.”
Although he was not permitted to ride in the ambulance, Patterson rode on his bike behind the paramedics.
Long suffered a collapsed lung, severe facial lacerations and fractures and a broken wrist, Will Dugan, a member of UVM cycling, said. “Fortunately, she was wearing a helmet,” he said.
“When I heard about the accident, I can’t say that I was shocked because if you ride enough bikes you will get hit by a car eventually,” Vinnie Scalia, co-president of the cycling club, said.
The whole team went to the hospital to visit Long as soon as they heard of the accident and several have been visiting daily, he said.
“The nurses have had to escort visitors from the room to help her rest because they have been coming in droves,” Dugan said.
“Everyone [from the team] is wishing her a speedy recovery,” Tucker Lyman, member of UVM cycling said.
Long was hospitalized in Fletcher Allen Health Care; she underwent facial surgery last Thursday afternoon that lasted 13 hours, Patterson said.
She will still need special dental attention as well, Dugan said.
It has only been about five years since Long began mountain and road biking, but she managed to earn a spot at the mountain biking national road race last spring, Amie Long said.
She even managed to place fifth in the race, Patterson said.
She recently transferred to UVM from Colby College at the beginning of the 2007 academic year, Dugan said.
“Rose is the face of UVM cycling,” Scalia said.
“She was the overall leader in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference last season,” Lyman said.
Long has decided to withdraw from classes for medical reasons, she will return in the spring, Amie Long said.
The cycling team plans on organizing a public event to raise funds for Long and her family, Dugan said.
There is also a Web site set up for donations, www.roselong.com, PatterÂson said.
“Hopefully [Rose’s accident] will … raise awareness for the safety of cyclists,” Scalia said. “It is important … that people keep their eyes open … it is dangerous on the road for cyclists.”
“It’s too common to hear about cyclists getting in serious injuries while training and/or racing,” Dugan said, “but it’s a dangerous sport … and these are the risks associated with it.”