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Mayor’s daughter hospitalized

Hit by a car while bike riding, Ellen Thomas is in good condition.
Friday, August 29, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:27 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The daughter of Mayor Darwin Hindman was listed in good condition Thursday night at University Hospital after being struck and injured on her bicycle during a four-car crash at Providence and Stewart roads.

Ellen Thomas, 39, of Columbia, was hit while riding her bicycle shortly before 11 a.m. and was transported to University Hospital, Columbia Police said.

“(My helmet) may have very well saved my life,” Thomas said from her hospital bed Thursday. Thomas, a pediatrician, said she was feeling good and was planning to show her dented helmet to her young patients when she returned to work.

Thomas was hit after a silver Dodge Caravan heading north on Providence Road ran a red light and slammed into a green Honda Accord traveling east on Stewart Road, said Megan McCloskey, 23, the driver of the Honda.

The impact sent the Honda careening into Thomas, who was riding near the northeast corner of the intersection, she said.

The Honda then struck a red Ford Ranger heading east on Stewart Road, while the Dodge Caravan collided with a fourth car on Stewart Road, McCloskey said.

“She (the bicyclist) flipped over my hood,” McCloskey said. “Luckily, she was OK. I was really shaken. Everybody was really shaken. But she seemed to be OK.”

All drivers were wearing seat belts, police said, and no other injuries were reported.

Caroline Harvey, 30, of Columbia, was cited for running a red light.

Two years ago, Hindman challenged Columbia residents to use alternative modes of transportation, including bicycles, at least once a week. Earlier this year, the mayor designated May 1-8 as “Bike, Walk and Wheel Week.” Thomas said she recently reviewed public responses that identified the intersection of Providence and Stewart roads as the most dangerous.

“It just shows how important it is to have safer bicycle routes around town,” Thomas said.

Hindman, who recently returned to his duties as mayor following surgery to remove nodes from his esophagus, learned of his daughter’s accident at the unveiling of the new Bass Pro Shop store, according to comments made by City Manager Ray Beck at Thursday’s Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization meeting. Hindman immediately left the event.

— Missourian reporter Sara Lubbes contributed to this report.


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