3 Cutters cyclists struck by vehicle on Ind. 446


A map showing the site where riders of the Cutters cycling team were hit by a car while riding their bikes for a team training session. Christa Kumming Buy Photos

Freshman Eric Brodell, who hit the car head on and then flipped over the hood, received the worst injuries. His first surgery at Bloomington Hospital is complete.

Brodell is reported to be in good spirits.

“Surgery went well,” Lusk said. “There was just a lot of debris and blood loss during surgery so they’re going to do another surgery on Friday morning to go back in and clean it out a little bit more to reduce the risk of infection. They’re going to wait until the swelling goes down from that, and he needs reconstructive surgery on his MCL.”

Senior Eric Young and junior Michael Schroeder were both released from Bloomington Hospital last night. Lusk said the team is communicating through e-mails to stay informed.

Young and Schroeder both awoke to soreness, Lusk said. Schroeder’s ankle and Young’s elbow are both swollen. Lusk said Young’s ankles even began to swell last night.

“They’re alright,” Lusk said. “Just going to take some time off and heal up. And make sure everything is in line and go from there.”

Earlier Story

Three members of the perennial Little 500 champion Cutters were involved in an accident with a car while training on their bikes about 5:05 p.m. Wednesday on Ind. 446.

Freshman Eric Brodell, who was hit head-on, and senior Eric Young both flipped over the car. Junior Michael Schroeder hit the vehicle’s side, fourth rider and junior Thomas Walsh said.

Walsh was not hit by the car and was not injured during the accident.

Sgt. Troy Thomas of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said the driver crossed the yellow line and struck the guardrail on the opposite side of the road.

Because of state law, officers administered a portable breathalyzer at the scene, and the driver did not test positive for alcohol, Thomas said.

“There are no criminal charges at this point,” he said.

The driver was issued a citation for left of center, an infraction.

“We were riding two-by-two like we always do, on the right side of the road,”  Walsh said. “The car came barrelling down the hill. I was lucky I missed it because I swerved
off the road.”

Senior Zach Lusk, a Cutters rider who heard the news from Schroeder, said the accident took place en route to Lake Monroe “a little bit south of the ‘Fishin Shedd.’”

The rookie Brodell received the brunt of the injuries because he was the front left rider of the pack. A Cutter rookie leading the pack is not uncommon, Lusk said.

“We kind of throw our rookies into it right in the beginning,” Lusk said from the Bloomington Hospital. “They have to learn how to ride in the pack and get used to how we train and do things. We throw them right in the fire and make them pull just as much as the veterans. We’ll do a little more than they do, but it’s not uncommon to see our rookies up in the front.”

The car was driving south on Ind. 446 down a hill and  was going “way too fast for the weather conditions,” Lusk said.

“It’s a very typical ride that I know a lot of teams do,” he said. “It was just kind of a freak accident, people not paying attention to the weather conditions driving-wise.”

Brodell underwent surgery at Bloomington Hospital to stitch a deep laceration in his left leg.

Young sustained mainly upper body injuries and had to have glass removed from his arm. Schroeder developed a swollen ankle.

Lusk did not take part in the ride because he was at class. He received a call from Schroeder as he was leaving class to come to the emergency room.

This crash is the second wreck in the past week to involve a Cutters rider. Rookie rider Kevin Depasse was hit by a car last week when the driver turned left and didn’t see him. Depasse was thought to have a broken femur, but the results came back negative.

Lusk said Schroeder and Young have been released from Bloomington Hospital.

“We’ve got a lot to look at,” Lusk said. “Roughly, we’ve got four healthy guys and four guys that were in accidents that will probably sit out the vast majority of first semester.”

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