Van and cyclist collide during IRONMAN 70.3

Chickamauga Police say a cyclist crashed into a van during the IRONMAN 70.3 race Sunday. (Image: WTVC)

Chickamauga Police say a cyclist hit a van during the IRONMAN 70.3 race on Sunday.

According to Chief Ronald Roach, the driver made a right hand turn Highway 341 at the intersection of Lee Clarkson Road.

Roach says the cyclist tried to pass the driver on the right shoulder. According to Roach, the cyclist passed improperly, which led to the crash.

Police say the cyclist only had a few minor scrapes and declined medical treatment. IRONMAN personnel took the cyclist off the course.

The driver was not charged in the accident.

NewsChannel 9 spoke to the driver who wants to stay anonymous because she's worried the biker's friends -will try to retaliate after the crash.

"I was so shocked I sat in the car for five seconds, the driver told us. "I didn't know if I killed him. If I was going to jail."

The driver tells us she didn't want her teenage daughter to drive to work Sunday because of the race.

So, she got behind the wheel instead, taking Highway 341 to Lee Clarkson Road.

"As I start to turn, he hits my car. I see his glasses go flying over the hood."

The driver says she talked to the driver after EMS arrived.

I gave him a hug and I told him I was sorry."

The driver says, she's still torn up about the accident.

Ironman 70.3 racer Alan Reynolds rode along the same path where it happened.

"There was a moment or two where I thought, it would be tough to have to get somewhere and you got one lane of that road closed basically the entire way," said Alan Reynolds.

Sunday was Reynold's third Ironman 70.3 - and he never worried about drivers before.

But he wants drivers and bikers to be careful.

"You try to mitigate the risk and do the right things and follow the law and be smart about it," said Reynolds. "And hope those kinds of things don't happen."

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