Vehicle v. Bicycle Hit and Run Video – Bethlehem, PA – April 2, 2012

On Monday evening, April 2, 2012, an expert cyclist and friend of mine was hit riding his bike on the Fahy (New Street) Bridge in Bethlehem. Miraculously, Frank Pavlick avoided serious injury. Frank is a welder by trade and an Advanced Mechanic Instructor and League of American Bicyclists certified Cycling Instructor who also works with the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation in the Lehigh Valley.

When this crash occurred, I was the Chief of Police in Bethlehem and heard the call dispatched as a cyclist struck by a vehicle on the Fahy Bridge. This is only about 1/2 mile from my office and I ran out to see if I could help. I was so relieved to learn that the cyclist, a friend of mine, was not too seriously injured.

Mr. Pavlick was hit by a seventeen year old juvenile who was attempting to pass a LANTA bus.  Immediately following the impact, the juvenile attempted to flee the scene to avoid identification and apprehension.  The driver of the LANTA bus, identified as Richard Gubish, Jr., saw the crash in his rear view mirror and also saw the driver attempting to get away.  Mr. Gubish took immediate and decisive action and positioned his bus across the lanes of the bridge, effectively blocking the path of the getaway driver.  Another witness to the crash, Judson Smull, stopped to render aid to the injured Pavlick, who implored Smull to go after the offending driver to get the license plate.  Smull also took immediate action, and following the lead of Mr. Gubish, positioned his car directly behind the offending vehicle, further blocking any attempt to escape.

The next vehicle across the bridge was a marked Bethlehem Police car being operated by veteran Officer Wade Haubert.  Officer Haubert stopped at Mr. Pavlick to render aid, and learning that he was not seriously injured, proceeded to take the offending juvenile into custody. The quick and selfless actions by Mr. Gubish and Mr. Smull brought this potentially tragic situation to a very positive conclusion.  Without their decisive actions, the offending driver may not have been apprehended.

The Coalition for Appropriate Transportation and the Bethlehem Public Works Department agreed to move ahead as quickly as possible with plans to install signs and Shared Lane Markings on the Northbound side of the bridge where Frank was hit. Shared Lane Markings were repainted on the Southbound side of the bridge in the right lane where Patrick Ytsma was hit in December of 2011. These projects were approved some time before the crash and were  awaiting material delivery and warmer weather for installation.

Pavlick BikePavlick on Fahy BridgePavlick on Fahy After CrashPavlick on FAhy 2