A day after an MU journalism student was critically injured in a car-truck-bicycle accident at Rollins Road and College Avenue, another girl was knocked from her bicycle by a truck just a block away at Rollins and Maryland Avenue.
The area is particularly congested this time of year as students return to nearby residence halls.
The girl, whom authorities would not identify Saturday, was heading east on Rollins when she failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by the truck turning south, said MU police Capt. Brian Weimer. She was taken to University Hospital. Battalion Chief Steven Sapp of the Columbia Fire Department said the girl’s injuries were minor, “only scrapes and bruises.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Krysten Chambrot of Miramar, Fla., was alert and joking with family and friends Saturday morning at University Hospital. She had been struck by a car and then by a Columbia Water and Light truck, which dragged her several feet into the intersection before coming to a stop and pinning her underneath. Part of Chambrot’s left leg had been amputated, her right leg was seriously injured and her jaw was broken.
Chambrot is a copy editor for the Columbia Missourian and previously covered higher education for the newspaper.
Sapp said it took department rescue workers 15 minutes to pull her from beneath the truck.
“She was alert and remained very calm throughout the incident,” Sapp said. “That was the amazing thing, when you’re walking up to the scene and seeing the mechanism of injury — a truck — you’re prepared for the worst. We found no signs of closed brain or TBI (traumatic brain injury) or cervical or spine damage. How that happened, I don’t know.”
Sapp said Chambrot was not wearing a bike helmet when she was struck. “That’s something we struggle with a lot,” he said. “The majority of bicyclists that I see in the campus area do not wear helmets.”
Although a city ordinance requires cyclists younger than 16 to wear a helmet, there is no similar law for adults.
Sapp said bicycle accidents happen on a fairly regular basis, especially during the spring, summer and fall.
“Most kids, once they reach the age of 16, migrate toward vehicle travel, but there certainly is a distinct population that still does ride bikes, and some find it their primary means of transportation,” he said.
Sapp said Columbia’s fire and police departments send out advisories on back-to-school safety every year. Chambrot’s accident provided reason to publish this year’s message a week early. Classes at MU and Columbia College begin Monday, at Columbia Public Schools on Wednesday and at Stephens College on Thursday.
“Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians all have to understand that we have to share the road,” he said. “We all have to kind of watch out for one another while we’re doing our daily business.”