“Who is this individual? No Response for Seriously Injured Cyclist on East Bay Bike Path
WARREN, RI (WPRI) — When Donna Bergeron received a call from an unknown number in the early afternoon of June 11, she did not pick up.
“Then it rang again,” she told Target 12. “And my co-worker said to me, you should answer it, because people don’t normally call twice.”
The call came from a Warren EMT.
Bergeron’s partner Mich Myette was returning home on the East Bay bike path after a 30-mile bike ride when he and another cyclist collided head-on. Myette’s jaw was broken and he was taken to a hospital in Rhode Island.
Despite riding in protective gear, Myette needed four-hour surgery, multiple titanium plates in her mouth and her jaw shut before healing could begin.
“Now I have to eat my meals with a straw,” Myette said recently.
Myette said the other biker was in the wrong lane and riding an e-bike, which is illegal on the bike path.
Warren police interviewed the other cyclist that day before he left the scene. The individual said his name was William Jefferson and gave a Warren address with a Massachusetts phone number. But when police tried to follow up with Jefferson, an inter-agency search “hit negative” they found that his address “does not exist” and the phone number “doesn’t work”.
Warren Police Lt. Christopher Perreault wasn’t there that day, but he told Target 12 the department was focused on finding the mystery person to get a full account of what happened. passed that day.
One of the responding officers described the man who called himself William Jefferson as a middle-aged white man. The man had a black goatee with a hint of gray and had abrasions on his face and arms.
Perreault encourages anyone with information to contact Warren Police on their tip line.
A 2016 report from the University of Rhode Island found that nearly 850,000 people used the East Bay Bike Path that year, and that number is believed to have increased significantly during the pandemic.
Data from the city of Warren and Bristol shows just a dozen bicycle collisions or accidents on the bike path since 2019. But Warren police data on calls for service on the bike path – which may include medical conditions, lost and found and suspicious activity – peaked during the pandemic, from 62 in 2019 to 117 in 2021.
Myette’s jaw will be locked for at least six weeks, and he said doctors won’t be able to tell him if he will make a full recovery until the wire is removed.
But while a full recovery isn’t a sure thing, Myette and Bergeron said they know expensive medical bills are a certainty.
“Who is this individual? said Myette. “I want him to show up.”
They said the salt in the wound is that Warren police weren’t careful to document what happened.
“Warren police arrived after Michael assisted in the rescue,” Bergeron said. “They claimed they spoke to him at the scene – they didn’t.”
Myette and Bergeron drove to Warren Police Station to speak to the two officers who responded to the inaccuracy.
“The field training officer looked at the trainee officer and said, ‘You did get a statement from him, didn’t you?’ And he said, “No,” Bergeron said.
But their biggest frustration, they said, is that the police only photographed Myette’s bike, not the other man’s. If the police had done so, there would be evidence the other man was riding an e-bike.
When Target 12 asked Warren police about the inconsistencies in the incident reports and why the other man’s bike had not been photographed, a police official replied, “no comment. “.
Bergeron said the incident made her question human decency.
“It’s disturbing to know that a person can just walk away from an incident like that and not even show up and say, ‘Hey, you know what, I did this and I I’m sorry,'” she said. .