AUSTIN, Texas - Ronnie Woodall said his brand new $1,600 bicycle fell apart at the welds. He said it happened while he was riding on 4th Street back in April. Months later, he is still recovering from his injuries.
“I guess when I went face-first into the fence it pushed my head back and twisted my neck and it blew out the vertebrae in my neck. My nose had been amputated; it was barely hanging on by this left side of my nostril across the top,” said Woodall.
Due to construction, the area near the Austin Convention center where it happened looks quite different today.
“The fence had zero give. You could've ran a car into that fence and it probably wouldn't move. It was like quarter-inch steel crisscrossed,” said Woodall.
After trying to come to a resolution with the manufacturing company to no avail, he and his attorney decided to file a lawsuit.
“The doctor has estimated that it will require well over $2 million just to take care of him medically in the future. We know from the eyewitness, we know from everything that we have available to us, including Ronnie's story, which is entirely credible, that he was just riding just as anyone would ride their bike and it just fell apart,” said Robert Ranco with DC Law.
Not only are they looking to recoup the financial damage, but also to hold the company accountable and figure out what went wrong in the manufacturing process.
“Ronnie is a 30-year retired Army veteran, a four-time combat veteran who came back from all of that unscathed, and then one day he goes out on his brand new $1,600 bicycle and the bicycle literally falls apart at the welds?” said Ranco.
Despite the injuries, Ronnie is still glad the accident did not happen just a little further down the road, where there was no fence to catch his fall.
“Be aware of the bicycle you're purchasing, make sure you do a good inspection of the frame and all the welds,” said Woodall.
An attorney for Quality Bicycle Products sent this statement:
“We are aware of Mr. Woodall’s accident and sincerely regret that he was injured while riding an All-City bicycle. We are investigating the accident and were allowed to examine Mr. Woodall’s bicycle at his lawyer’s offices. At this point we have not found any evidence to support a claim that his bicycle spontaneously came apart, which is something that in our experience bicycles simply do not do.
Mr. Woodall’s accident occurred in front of the Austin Convention Center and we understand that a video of the accident is in the possession of the City of Austin. We have not yet been allowed access to this video by the City. We are hopeful that the video will provide answers to the questions raised by this accident, and that Mr. Woodall fully recovers from his injuries.”