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Columbia Missourian

Motorist hits man in wheelchair in downtown Columbia

By Ayano Shimizu
January 1, 2013 | 2:16 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A motorist hit a man in a wheelchair Tuesday morning at the intersection of Broadway and Ninth Street.

The man, who was taken to the University Hospital emergency room, was not seriously injured, Columbia Police Officer Alex Kaneaster said. 

Max Ziemann, 21, was making a left turn on Broadway when he hit the man, Kaneaster said.

Ziemann had a green light, but the pedestrian had the right of way, Kaneaster said. The driver was supposed to yield but did not.

Six officers picked up the man off the street and put him on a stretcher. Water and ice had spilled from his purple water bottle, which lay on the street.

"I couldn't see (the pedestrian) because the sun was at my eyes," Zieman said. "I was going for like 5 miles an hour. As I stopped, he bounced off the wheelchair." 

Ziemann was driving a Toyota Prius he had borrowed from a friend. He is visiting Columbia from Troy, Mo., his friend Mike Beard said.

Kaneaster said Ziemann would be given a ticket for a traffic violation, but that he would not be arrested. 

It is common for motorists to hit pedestrians downtown, Kaneaster said.

In April, a car collided with a person using a motorized wheelchair near Stephens College, causing the wheelchair to be thrown three buildings past the site of the accident. 

Janet E. Barnes, then 83, was hospitalized in critical condition, but has since recovered, according to her daughter's blog, HeartSpokenWords.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.