Suffolk athlete injured in hit and run; police search for driver

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Police want to find the person responsible for injuring a cyclist in Suffolk Saturday.

According to city spokeswoman Diana Klink, “There was a minor incident reported at 5:46 a.m. in the 3800 block of Manning Road where a cyclist advised he was hit by a side mirror of a vehicle. He sustained non-life threatening injuries.”

10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings spoke to the injured athlete Wednesday.

“When I go to bed, I see the car. I hear the crash. It’s going through my head,” Dylan Ralston told her.

It’s an image, a moment in time he’ll never forget.

“Deep in my heart I’m hurt,” he said.

That morning ride was supposed to be normal. Ralston was on an 80-mile training route, getting ready for an October triathlon in Louisville.

He said he left home early to beat the heat. Manning Road is about nine miles from his home, a familiar stretch.

“Normally the cars come around the corner, they see me, they slow down,” Ralston said.

Ralston counted three cars pass by him in half an hour on the rural road, but the actions of the third driver were unusual.

“It kept on going straight and it kept coming at me,” he said.

Ralston was riding on one side and then saw the headlights headed toward him. He says the driver crossed the road.

“I just knew the headlights were too close. I had to get around them and I did a quick move and that’s when I felt the side of the car. I hit the mirror.”

The impact left him in a ditch with two broken fingers, a compressed wrist, abrasions to his left arm and an AC separation to the right shoulder.

“I was aiming for the yard and the ditch but I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.”

Ralston says the driver stopped, but only for a moment.

“This person came up to me hysterically crying and I asked if he was laughing and he said ‘No, I’m crying.’ I don’t know what state he was in. I know he was ready to get out of there. He was scared and he took off.”

Ralston went to a nearby home to get help. He doesn’t know if the driver was impaired or distracted, but wants him held responsible.

He also wants everyone else to get this message: “We’re all out together and we don’t want people to get hurt doing something they love.”

Ralston has a long road to a full recovery. He showed 10 On Your Side his bicycle, which doesn’t appear to have any damage. However, because it has a full carbon fiber frame, he’s going to get it checked out to be sure.

Police say the suspect was driving a white four-door Chevy Cavalier with a model year between 1995 and 2005. The car may have damage to the driver-side mirror.

If you know anything that can help find the car or the driver, call police.

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