WASHINGTON– Kurt Zwally, of Silver Spring, would like to know the identity of the driver of the SUV that ran into him while he was riding his bike last weekend and put him in the hospital with three broken ribs. Police want to know, too.
“The ribs are broken by my spine, and unlike when you break them in the front, they’re really hard to break in the back, and it’s excruciating pain,” Zwally, 44, says.
Zwally, an energy environmental consultant, was recovering from surgery for a herniated disc in June and had recently been cleared to get back on the road. He was working his way up to the long bike rides he and his wife, Elizabeth Ginexi, a federal researcher, had always enjoyed.
At midday Saturday, Zwally was near the end of a 35-mile ride in Laytonsville on Route 108 when an SUV began to pass him as he crested a hill.
“The silver SUV coming behind me starts gradually moving into me like someone pushing me with their arm. I’m like ‘Are you kidding me?’ and the next thing I know, WHAM! I’m unconscious in the ditch,” Zwally says.
Police say the SUV swerved into the bicyclist to avoid oncoming traffic. Zwally spent a night in the shock trauma unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and he has a follow-up appointment Wednesday with a neurosurgeon who will continue tests on his spine.
Zwally, who also suffered a concussion and a sprained foot, has written an open letter to the hit-and-run driver.
“I just want to know what they were thinking. Why couldn’t they wait 30 seconds till we had gone over the hill to see if there was traffic coming?” Zwally wonders.
As he begins his recovery, he wonders about the driver who hit him and left him in a ditch.
“Why didn’t you stop and help me? Did you think I was dead? Did you give a crap whether I was dead or not? Did you even look in the mirror?” he asks in the letter.
“I doubt you heard the crack of my ribs as my shoulder and head slammed into the ground,” he writes. “But maybe you heard the crunch of my bike under your tire.”
The Montgomery County police are searching for the hit-and-run driver. Anyone who has information should call their non-emergency number at 301-279-8000. Callers may remain anonymous.