Boise & Garden City

Boise cyclist was knocked out and ‘abandoned’ in a crash. How it happened is a mystery.

Boise bike crash victim says driver abandoned him

Derrek Brent was riding his bike to work in Downtown Boise Oct. 2, 2017, when he was involved in a crash. He believes a vehicle hit his front wheel. Police are investigating and asking for any witnesses to come forward.
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Derrek Brent was riding his bike to work in Downtown Boise Oct. 2, 2017, when he was involved in a crash. He believes a vehicle hit his front wheel. Police are investigating and asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Derrek Brent, who works at a bank in Downtown Boise, has been riding his bike to work every day for the past couple years.

The 27-year-old financial advisor says he gets a mental boost that’s as good or better than coffee during the 3-mile trip from his home on the Bench.

“My days didn’t feel like they started right when I didn’t bike to work,” said Brent, who in his free time enjoys rock climbing and snowboarding.

On the morning of Oct. 2, he was riding in the bike lane on Capitol Boulevard when something totally unexpected happened: He crashed.

Brent didn’t see it coming — but he’s certain he was hit by a vehicle, possibly gray or silver. Damage to his front wheel valve, spokes and frame make him believe that he was struck with significant force.

He was knocked unconscious. His injuries included a severe concussion, broken nose (two places) and lacerations on his face that required about 15 stitches. He got road rash on the tops of both of his hands.

The jacket he was wearing kept the blood from his face from ruining his suit and tie, he said. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and he isn’t convinced it would have protected him from the injuries he received since he apparently fell forward.

He woke up in the bicycle lane on Capitol, in the area of the Boise Art Museum and Boise Public Library. Police were called to help paramedics at 8:24 a.m., according to police.

He said he’s disappointed, not angry, about the crash.

“I can understand that someone didn’t want to get in trouble for something,” Brent said. “To not even to check to see if they were alive. For me to be unconscious and laying in the road for that long, and not have a second thought about it is really disturbing.”

“Someone just completely abandoning me,” he said. “It’s been tough to wrap my head around that.”

Police said last week that they didn’t have physical evidence that Brent was in a collision. The investigation is ongoing, and police have asked for witnesses to call non-emergency dispatch at 208-377-6790 or 208-343-2677 (COPS).

“Unfortunately, there is no new evidence that he was hit by a car but it remains a possibility,” Boise police spokeswoman Haley Williams said Wednesday.

Brent feels like police just want to “call it an accident and call it a day.”

The good news is that the intense headaches he was suffering after the crash are finally subsiding. The cuts on his face and inside his mouth are healing. It will be a while before he’s back to normal: He has lingering back and neck pain, and he’s seeing specialists to deal with his issues with motor skills.

Brent has been on medical leave through Nov. 5, and he plans to resume riding his bicycle to work.

“I’ve been re-thinking my route,” he said. “The construction creates an awkward transition at Myrtle.”

Brent’s mother set up a YouCaring.com account to raise money for his medical expenses. Twelve people have contributed more than $600.

“It’s been awesome how supportive people have been,” Brent said, who became emotional several times Wednesday when talking about the crash. “It’s been really hard.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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