Austin dentist hits cyclist in apparent road rage incident
Preston Tyree with 'Bike Austin' is an advocate for bicycle safety. He just doesn't understand why some drivers see cyclists as a nuisance on the road.
"I think it's because when people see us they think of kids playing and they think you know 'this guy doesn't have a job, he's out playing, he's out having fun, and I'm in my car going to work,'" Tyree said.
He's frustrated to learn about what happened to a cyclist Austin Police documents refer to as "E Scott" on Wednesday morning. Police documents say Scott was trying to ride in the bike lane on Jollyville Road but the area was overgrown. So he had to scoot over. That's when the guy behind him got angry.
Police say 60-year-old Jerry Milner, a local dentist driving a Ford pickup honked at Scott...then pulled up beside him and yelled at him to stay in the bike lane. Scott yelled back. That's when police say Milner drove in front of Scott and slammed on his brakes. Scott plowed into the back of the truck injuring his elbows, arms and skinning his knee. Milner took off.
"What would you do? What would your viewers do? You hit somebody and knocked them down...wouldn't you stay around and see if they're okay? Wouldn't you call 911? Wouldn't you do some of that?" Tyree said.
Documents say Scott remembered Milner's license plate which led APD back to Milner's dental practice. He was arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid -- $25,000 bond.
"If there's too much traffic, he can't move over. Ok, you slow down and wait until it's easy, it's clear to go. If there's no traffic over there, you look at it right now there's no traffic on Jollyville, the simple thing is you just move over and go around him," Tyree said.
Tyree says when cyclists find themselves unable to ride in the bike lane for whatever reason -- like overgrowth, he says the safest thing is to command the vehicle lane.
"If I'm on the edge of that white line they're going to want to sneak by in the lane, they're not going to want to get out of the lane so a safer place to ride up until about 45 miles an hour is actually out in the middle of the lane. People say 'are you crazy?' And the answer's 'no, you saw me! I'm out in the middle of the lane, you see me.' As soon as you see me you say 'I can't pass him in this lane, I've got to get out of this lane to pass'" Tyree said.
APD says when they found Dr. Milner's truck at his office there was a dent on the bumper where Scott's wheel hit and an imprint of a fingerless bicycle glove.
Milner told police he pulled in front of him to 'talk' to him about the situation and then left because Scott was trying to climb into the back of his truck.
We did reach out to Dr. Milner and he hasn't responded to our requests for an interview yet. Scott refused EMS and said he would go to his own doctor for his elbow injury.