A recent incident in Littleton, Colorado has highlighted the importance of always being alert and never taking your safety for granted. Last weekend a 55-year-old cyclist was injured while riding a local bike path when she collided with a piece of barbed wire that had been tied across the trail. Jacquie Carpenter, a cyclist for over 25 years, was unable to avoid the hazard and tumbled end over end, injuring her ribs and obtaining several scrapes and bruises in the process.

Littleton Police are looking into the incident but don’t have any leads or suspects so far. Kim Ferber, a spokesperson for the Littleton Police Department expressed concern, and said “We need to make people aware that this has happened.”

Carpenter’s collision is somewhat reminiscent of a March incident in which a Denver cyclist was injured when he ran into a piece of fishing line that had been similarly strung across a popular trail. However, in the previous case, it was ultimately determined the fishing line was not positioned across the trail as part of a booby trap, but instead resulted from a fisherman who was trying to land a fish at the time of the accident.

In this most recent case, a harmless explanation for why a piece of barbed wire would be strung one-foot off the ground across a trail seems somewhat unlikely. And, while it’s possible there’s a less malicious motive behind this freak accident, it’s equally plausible this was a poorly thought out “prank” that could have resulted in potentially lethal consequences.

Fortunately, Carpenter escaped with minor injuries, but as she pointed out, “It really could have killed somebody.”

There’s no way of knowing whether the accident could have been prevented, and it’s completely unfair to expect anyone to anticipate barbed wire while casually cycling on a bike path. Still, although this will hopefully prove to be an isolated incident, it still serves as a valuable (and sad) reminder that cyclists should always be on the lookout for potential hazards.

Despite the freak accident, Carpenter says she intends to continue riding and commuting by bike whenever possible, but she also points out this recent incident will likely change the way she rides.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/6099109682/

Andy Gillin

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Andy is a highly recognized wrongful death lawyer in California.