A 16-year-old pickup truck driver ran over six cyclists in Houston on Saturday, allegedly by accident. Two of the hit cyclists were airlifted, while two of the other four sought medical attention at the hospital as well.
The 16-year-old driver, who is reportedly working with police, was apparently attempting to pull some sort of prank when he accidentally ran over the cyclists.
According to Chase Ferrell, another cyclist on the road and an eyewitness to the accident, the 16-year-old tried to blow exhaust on them, as another truck had done before. When the 16-year-old driver accelerated to blow exhaust on the cyclists, he couldn’t stop the truck and ran over three people before hitting the brakes.
“I thought someone was dead,” cyclist Chase Ferrell told local news station KRIV. “I heard a lot of crunching. I heard brakes. Tires screeching. People screaming.”
“The reason he couldn’t stop is because he was accelerating to blow more diesel fuel on these cyclists,” Ferrell said. “He ended up hitting three people before his brakes even started.”
Although the identity of the driver has yet to be released, authorities have made no arrests. Officers are referring to the incident a prank, saying that the boy was only trying to harass them and not hurt them.
The Texas cyclists referred to the exhaust prank as “rolling coal,” which is when diesel engines are modified to produce more black, sooty exhaust fumes. For whatever reason, cyclist Chase Ferrell attested that this is a kind of “prank” that pickup truck drivers do to cyclists all the time.
“It made me mad, so I accelerated to try to catch up to him,” Ferrell said, attempting to get a picture of his license plate. “It’s senseless. It doesn’t make any sense for anybody to do that to any cyclist… it’s pointless.”
The cyclists were about 75 miles into their training for an Ironman when the accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Business 290 in Waller County, Tx.
“When I pulled up on the scene, I thought I was going to be pulling up to people that were dead,” cyclist Chase Ferrell told a local Houston news outlet.
All six are expected to make full recoveries at the hospital, where they are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. One cyclist, who is being treated for head trauma, is said to be in stable condition.
“There was no reason for this to happen,” Ferrell told KRIV. He said that the young boy stayed on the scene after it happened and talked with authorities, but it is unclear why he wanted to blow exhaust on the cyclists before accidentally hitting them.
“It wasn’t like he was on his phone,” Ferrell said, arguing that he “definitely meant to try and scare these people,” or “intimidate them in some way.”
The cyclists, who all retain the right to press charges, have been in contact with Chase Ferrell who told reporters that they are recovering at home and awaiting further surgery. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the cyclists with their bike repairs and hospital bills.
The Waller County Sheriff’s Office, who reported to the scene of the accident in Texas, have yet to make a statement. Officers have informed local reporters at the scene that no arrests have been made, and that the case is still under investigation.
“I don’t understand if it was me who had struck someone else, I would be in jail,” Ferrell said of the 16-year-old pickup truck driver’s prank-gone-wrong. “I don’t understand how it’s come to this point where there are no consequences.”