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Stats: Denny lives downtown and rides for recreation. For the past two years, he has commuted by bike 20 miles each way to his job in Overland Park.
Crash: On an overcast morning in December 2006, Denny was traveling through Prairie Village on his way to work. It was the beginning of rush hour, about 7:30 a.m., and Denny lined up behind two other cars at the traffic light where Roe meets Tomahawk. On the other side of the intersection, Lisa Marie Bastean idled with her signal blinking, waiting to turn left onto Roe. Denny, continuing on Tomahawk, followed the other vehicles. "She yielded for the other cars, but I started to go and she didn't yield for me," he says. When Bastean spotted him crossing —
with his red helmet, red bag and flashing red light — she slammed on the brakes. But not before she struck Denny with the right edge of her Toyota Matrix, sending him barreling over the hood of the car. He clattered to the pavement with the bike still clipped to his feet. "She was out of her car so fast to check on me, it started to roll away," he says. But when police and paramedics showed up, he says, she had an excuse: "I didn't see you." Bastean tells The Pitch that she remembers the morning as "dark and misty" and says Denny didn't come into view until too late. "It was a very, very scary, startling experience," she says. "I was just thankful he was OK." Bastean says the collision has made her more mindful of cyclists.
Medical bill: Health insurance covered his doctor visits, costs for which totaled approximately $500.
Insult to injury: Denny says he tried to get Bastean's State Farm policy to cover the fees, but it was a battle to get the company to talk to him. "It was just kind of insulting," he says. "At one point, the State Farm agent said, 'Poor car. It was a brand-new car.'"
Legal action: According to the police report, the officer concluded that Bastean "failed to pay full time and attention to the roadway, causing the accident." He didn't issue her a ticket, though. That doesn't sit well with Denny. "If I had been a car, she would have gotten a ticket," he says.
Stats: Borchardt has been biking since 1999, after a fracture in her left leg sidelined her from running. She bought a road bike and has been cycling up to 5,000 miles a year.
Regular route: Just about every Monday night, Borchardt can be found at Gringos Mexican Restaurant in Olathe after a weekly ride sponsored by the Johnson County Bicycle Club.
Crash: On May 21, Borchardt left her biking buddies a little after 8 p.m. to start her solo, 6-mile ride home. It was still light outside as she was riding down Loula, just east of old downtown Olathe. She says she's the kind of nerd who wears flashing lights on her bike and a rearview mirror on her helmet, so she wasn't too concerned when she spotted a car creeping up behind her. "I was right where I was supposed to be, 8 inches off the curb, not speeding, not doing anything weird," she says. The vehicle passed her, then suddenly turned into a driveway directly in front of her. Borchardt says she was traveling at 23 miles an hour when she slammed into the front passenger door of the 1978 Dodge Magnum. "My head was within 2 feet of the rear wheel," she says of her landing. With blood dripping from a cut on her left arm, she tried to ride away, but her wrist couldn't bear the pressure on her handlebars. She called friends, who found her on the side of the road and called 911. She was taken by ambulance to Olathe Medical Center, where doctors sewed up the wound with several stitches and put a cast on her swollen wrist.