Archive for Monday, September 26, 2011

Leavenworth cyclist found injured along highway during bicycle event; cause of injuries still unknown

September 26, 2011

A cyclist participating in a Leavenworth County bicycle event was taken Saturday to an area hospital after sustaining multiple injuries, but it’s unclear what caused them.

Bruce L. Nelson, 47, Leavenworth, was found about 5 p.m. Saturday in a ditch in the 16500 block of Springdale Road just west of Leavenworth. Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services treated him at the scene for head, neck and back injuries.

Nelson was participating in the annual Buffalo Bill Century Ride, which started at 8 a.m. Saturday in downtown Leavenworth.

According to Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office reports, another cyclist said Nelson departed the last race checkpoint ahead of her and could not have been more than 2 minutes ahead of her on the course when she found him. The cyclist said she did not recall seeing any cars pass her or any coming from the other direction, but also noted “I really wasn’t paying attention to that.” The cyclists were heading east on Springdale Road.

Nelson had been choking and could not speak at the scene, reports said. He was taken to Kansas University Hospital where he was placed in a medically controlled coma because of brain swelling, the reporting officer said. A KU Hospital official told sheriff’s officials it was possible Nelson had been struck by a passing vehicle, but it didn’t appear obvious he had been hit by a vehicle.

Nelson sustained fractures to his skull and five vertebrae, reports said.

A KU Hospital spokesperson had no information Monday about Nelson’s condition.

The bike ride consisted of 25-, 62- and 100-mile routes. Helmets were required for all races, according to the club’s website.

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