REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) – An update on the two cyclists involved in a wreck Thursday morning just past the entrance to Gate 9 on Redstone Arsenal.
The incident happened about 5:30 a.m. and led to long delays for drivers using Gate 9.
Joanna Whisenant and Jennifer Carroll, both experienced cyclists, were involved in a collision with a GMC truck.
Whisenant told WHNT News 19 that she and Carroll have been riding on the Arsenal two or three times a week for years.
She also noted that they try to complete their rides before 7:00 a.m. to avoid heavy traffic.
Whisenant said they were riding tandem, Whisenant in front of Carroll, in the far right lane when the accident happened.
“Then I heard a loud noise. It was like nothing I had ever heard before,” said Whisenant. “I thought there had been a car wreck. I was trying to get off the road and before I knew it, something pushed me forward.”
Both women were taken to Huntsville Hospital following the wreck.
Carroll broke her back. She had surgery Thursday night to fuse her spine and she is expected to be in a brace for at least six months.
Whisenant was discharged Thursday evening with her sling in an arm, some severe bruising and a large blood pocket on her head.
She said they were both wearing helmets and had blinking lights on their bicycles.
WHNT News 19 has asked Garrison Public Affairs on the Arsenal for more information about what caused the collision, but no other details were released due to the ongoing investigation.
No details were released about the person driving the truck.
Many drivers were stuck in the delay with traffic on Research Park Boulevard backed up past Old Madison Pike and past Madison Boulevard on Interstate 565 eastbound.
The Arsenal said it welcomes bicyclists on its roadways.
“Bicyclists are always welcome on the Arsenal and we will continue to enforce regulations that provide for their safety,” said Col Bill Marks, Garrison Commander. “Drivers should always be aware and not distracted and bicyclists should follow all procedures that make them more visible and safe.”
RSA regulations require bicyclists to adhere to traffic safety laws, staying as close to the right side of the roadway as is practical, and that they wear an approved helmet and reflective vest.
“We’re all definitely thinking about these injured bicyclists and hope they have a speedy return to the road,” said Col. Marks.