Cyclist hit by car, left injured in road tells 'terrifying' story

Cyclist hit by car, left injured in road tells 'terrifying' story

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - When Michelle Phillips moved to New Orleans, about five years ago, she owned a car, but between upkeep and costs to park in the French Quarter, where she works, she quickly decided to ditch her car for a bike.

"Why not just get a bike, it's so much easier. I'm getting exercise, I enjoy it, it's nice," Phillips said.

It was nice, until last Tuesday, when she was hit by a car on her way to work, while she was riding in a designated bike lane.

Surveillance footage shows Phillips traveling down Esplanade toward the Quarter when a car appears to blow through a stop sign at Crete Street hitting her, while she was riding in the bike lane, and then take off down Desoto Street.

"It was a split second, I hit right before their side view mirror. I guess the wheel kind of turned because I nailed into the whole right side of my body and I turned and landed in the middle of Esplanade and they took off. It knocked the wind out of me and everything else, I couldn't move," Phillips said.

The video shows what appears to be a white Toyota Solara with a beige convertible top hitting Phillips and the driving off without any hesitation.

"That disregard for someone's human life that you're going to nail them and then basically leave them to, thank God I'm not dead, but you left me basically to die in the street, that car doesn't know what happened to me," Phillips said.

Shortly after the collision, a woman stopped to help Phillips. She was taken to the hospital, where she stayed for nearly two days with broken ribs and a fractured vertebra in her back.

Now she's still willing to ride her bike, but the crash clearly has her on edge.

"I'm not going to go out and buy a car, that's not the answer because I enjoy riding my bike. It just makes me a little bit more aware and a little bit more nervous and little more scared and the fact that somebody would just, this could happen to anybody, that's terrifying," Phillips said.

If you recognize the car in the video contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or call Phillips' attorney, Charlie Thomas, at 504-274-2500 with any tips or information that might lead to an arrest.

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