On Saturday two athletes competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah were hit by a car, according to a statement from Ironman and numerous media reports.
“The two Ironman cyclists were struck at about 11 a.m. as they rode in the triathlon, receiving ‘serious bodily injuries,’ according to a probable cause document,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “One rider was having difficulty breathing when emergency personnel arrived, and the other had a broken arm that required a police officer to apply a tourniquet, the document states.”
“The 68-year-old driver told police she had been smoking marijuana that morning and that she had illegal narcotics in her car, according to the document,” the Salt Lake Tribune story continued. “Witnesses told police that the woman also didn’t obey a flagger involved in the event.”
In a story posted online, gephardtdaily.com reported that the woman has been arrested and is being investigated for:
“Two counts of causing an accident with serious bodily injury while under the influence of illegal narcotics, a third-degree felony” and “Failing to obey a flagger, a class B misdemeanor/”
Ironman issued the following statement:
We are aware of an incident that occurred during the bike portion of the second day of competition at the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, involving an automobile and two athletes. Both athletes were transported to a nearby hospital where they continue to receive treatment. The well-being of our competitors is paramount, and we are grateful for the work of medical personnel and local law enforcement. We wish both athletes a full and speedy recovery and will continue to support them and their family. All further inquiries should be directed to the Washington City local authorities.
One of the athletes involved in the accident, Mark Aaron Evans, posted (or had someone post for him) details about the accident on his Instagram account yesterday.
“I was hit by a car near mile 20,” the post read. “I am very uncomfortable, going to need surgery on my arm, but going to be ok.”
The post then went on to list his injuries:
• broken nose
• 2 cervical fractures
• 2 thoracic fractures
• elbow fracture
• 4 broken ribs
• major laceration on my arm (needs surgery)
• several lacerations on my face
• road rash on my leg
View this post on Instagram
In a post later in the day Evans described what had happened after coming out of surgery:
“I’m OK – it looks a lot worse than it is,” he said in a video. “I was doing about 30 miles an hour and a car came on the course … she pulled in front of us and I had a choice between the passenger side door and the rear hatch. I picked rear hatch and went through the glass in the back and tore a pretty big piece of skin off my arm. I’ve had two blood transfusions and they just got me out of surgery, so I don’t think I’m going to have nerve damage in my arm … I’ll be OK – don’t spend another minute worrying about me.”
View this post on Instagram
The accident took place on Telegraph Street, near the “Ghost Bike Memorial” erected after Adam and Matthew Bullard were killed by a driver during a bike race in St. George six months ago.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.