Finally, a decision on the case of the Race Across America Cyclist Struck By Car in Kansas near Wichita back in June … unfortunately, one that’s sure to disturb and infuriate anyone who cares about justice.
From KAKE in Wichita:
The man who hit a Spanish cyclist who was riding in the Race Across America in June will not face criminal charges.
The driver was cited for inattentive driving and given a ticket, but police could not determine if there was anything illegal being done to cause the driver to drive onto the shoulder of K-254 Highway. Police checked cell phone records and could not find any evidence that the driver had been using it when he hit the cyclist.
Diego Ballesteros is in a rehabilitation hospital in Barcelona, Spain, after cycling enthusiast Ben Sciortino and his wife loaned him $21,000 to return home last month. Sciortino says Ballesteros’ friends and family have already reimbursed him but that Ballesteros will still need help.
“Diego had already forgiven the driver of the car that hit him,” Sciortino said. “He is in good spirits even though doctors in Spain have told him he will be paralyzed from the ribcage down.”
“He is still in the hospital and will be for quite some time,” Sciortino continued. “When the paralysis is as high as it is, he will not have use of his back muscles but will still have use of his arms.”
Ballesteros trying to put the accident behind him and look to the future. He hopes to continue his bicycling next year with the use of a bicycle that is specially-built for paraplegics that allows the rider to pedal with their hands.
Right now, Ballesteros’ need is financial. He will never be able to walk again and his apartment in his hometown of Barbastro is a 4th floor walk-up. He will always need help getting into and out of his wheelchair.
Friends in Wichita have set up the Diego Ballesteros Benefit Fund at the Carson Bank at 4641 East Douglas Avenue. Those funds are being forwarded to Ballesteros in Spain. [read more]
The driver was Keith J. Swoverland, age 22, of Wichita. Diego Ballesteros Cucurull was participating in the Race Across America (RAAM) as part of the 4-person COANFI Desafio ASPANOA relay team, which withdrew from the event when Diego was injured.
Here’s an interview with Diego, from KWCH:
Best wishes for your recovery, Diego.