An impatient driver has been accused of causing a serious crash which left one rider in the hospital with spinal injuries in the K2 Classic on New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula Saturday. Witnesses described a utility truck honking and then passing on a blind curve, forcing riders to swerve out of the path of an oncoming milk tanker. The action caused a chain-reaction crash which sent Auckland resident Brett Burton into the path of the tanker. According to the New Zealand Herald, Burton, 43, was airlifted to the Auckland City Hospital where he was in stable condition.
A police inspector raised the hackles of cyclists by accusing the riders of "using the road as if they owned it", but told the paper that he was concerned about the behaviour of the group. "One officer followed a bunch for 10 to 15 minutes out of Whitianga and they were on both sides of the road," said inspector Earle McIntosh.
According to the report, the officer he did not know if that was still the case at the time of the accident, but said it would have been no excuse for dangerous driving by any motorists.
McIntosh said the police were assessing the reports of witnesses and the statement of the utility truck driver. "His actions may or may not have contributed to the crash, but as far as initial investigations would indicate, he was quite a distance away from the crash scene when it occurred - ahead of the crash."