Halifax cyclist calls on driver to come forward after hit and run

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon when Jodie Fitzgerald hopped on her bike and took off for her parents’ house in Halifax’s north end.

Unfortunately, she wouldn’t make it there. 

At around 1 p.m., Fitzgerald, an experienced cyclist, was cruising down a bicycle lane on Devonshire Avenue and was about to make a left turn onto Richmond Street. 

She signaled and was about to turn when she was suddenly hit by a car from behind.

“I just feel this really intense impact, a really loud noise, a really intense pain in my tailbone area, and I think I kind of lost my balance,” Fitzgerald told CBC’s Maritime Noon.

“I remember standing up, looking at the car. It was silvery. There were children in the back, and they looked very surprised.”

Fitzgerald called out after the car, but it drove away. She walked to the side of the road and collapsed in the grass.

As Fitzgerald attempted to use her phone, a woman driving by pulled over, jumped out of her car and ran over to help. 

The woman, who turned out to be a first responder, instructed another person to call 911 as a small crowd began to gather.

Fitzgerald was soon taken to the hospital, where she was given some painkillers and an X-ray.

Later, she got some good news. She had no cracks in her spine or tailbone and was able to walk out of the hospital a few hours later.

The doctor told her she didn’t appear to have a spinal cord injury, something that had concerned her as a nursing student.

“So that was the first thing that came to my mind,” she said.

‘Just be more careful’

While she’s grateful that her injuries weren’t worse, Fitzgerald is upset that the driver of the vehicle didn’t at least stop to make sure that she was OK.

She’s now calling on the person to come forward and face up to the mistake.

“What kind of example are you setting for your kids, that looked so shocked in the back seat?” she said.

The offending car is described as a white or silver BMW, but Fitzgerald and other witnesses weren’t able to take down the licence plate number.

Fitzgerald hopes the incident will send a message to other drivers. (Jodie Fitzgerald)

While she said police are investigating, they don’t have much to work with. 

“Right now, all they have is the vague car description and the fact that there was children,” she said. 

“There’s no identifying physical features of the driver, no plate number, so like I feel like maybe they’re just grasping at straws a little bit.”

Halifax Regional Police did not respond to media requests.

Even if she can’t find the mystery motorist, Fitzgerald hopes her story will send a message to other drivers.

“Just be more careful,” she said. 

“A moving vehicle is a powerful machine that can hurt people if you’re not respecting its power and giving it full attention.”

Fitzgerald said although it was a scary experience, she hopes to get back on her bicycle soon.

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