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2012-09-19 / News

Competition bicyclist critically injured after struck by semi truck

BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

DRYDEN TWP. — An encounter between a bicycle and a gravel-hauling semi Saturday left a Westland woman who placed 12th in her age group and 814th in last year’s Ironman Kona competition fighting for her life.

Dryden Township Police Chief Larry Pack said Amy Gluck, 40, was riding a bicycle alone east on East Dryden Road about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when a semi driven by a 69-year-old Dryden man turned left off the westbound side of the road onto southbound Havens Road. The impact, said Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Det./Sgt. Jason Parks tossed the Westland woman about 10 feet down Havens Road.

He said Gluck suffered a broken left leg and numerous other broken bones in the crash. “She was wearing a good helmet,” said Parks, noting that likely saved her life.

According to parks, a Garman GPS unit on Gluck’s bicycle indicated she was traveling about 20 mph on impact. He said the semi was traveling 25 mph or less as it turned onto Havens Road. The posted speed limit in the area is 55 mph.

Pack said officers from Almont and Metamora Township helped with traffic control while Parks and a motor carrier officer from the Michigan State Police Post in Lapeer investigated the crash site. Initially, said Parks, investigators thought Gluck might not survive the crash. He said the gravel-hauling semi struck Gluck an angled blow and she crashed through the truck’s grill and into its radiator before being tossed away.

Parks said Gluck was wearing an highvisibility orange and black outfit at the time of the crash.

Lapeer County EMS initially took Gluck to McLaren-Lapeer Region, but she was later transferred to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where Parks said she remains in critical condition.

Parks said the accident remains under investigation pending Gluck’s outcome. Either way, the driver is looking at misdemeanor charges at most.

Parks noted conviction of causing an accident resulting in serious injuries is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, while the penalty for being responsible to a fatal accident is a year in jail.

A clinical nutrition manager at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Gluck has been competing in triathlons since 2005. She’s qualified for every Ironman Kona since 2008 and competed in numerous endurance competitions. Sept. 1 Gluck finished first in her age group and 38th over all in the Milford Labor Day 30K run with a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes.

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