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Md. candidate struck while on bike

Matt Zapotosky

A 30-year-old Maryland Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate was critically injured early Sunday morning after she was hit by an SUV while riding her bike on Route 202 in the Largo area, authorities said.

Natasha Pettigrew was training to compete in a triathlon about 5:30 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a Cadillac Escalade headed south on Route 202 near the intersection with Campus Way, said Cpl. Darryl Clark, the duty officer at the Maryland State Police’s Forestville barrack.

Pettigrew’s bike was trapped underneath the SUV, and the driver traveled all the way home to an address in Cheverly apparently thinking “they ran over a deer,” Clark said.

Pettigrew was not dragged by the SUV, Clark said, though she was critically injured. He said she remained hospitalized and alive Monday morning.

Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said in an e-mail that the driver reported the crash to Prince George's County police sometime before 6:30 a.m., and officers there reported it to state troopers. He said "while the investigation is continuing, there is no indication at this time alcohol or drug use was involved in this incident."

No one has been charged or cited, Clark said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

-- Matt Zapotosky

By Matt Zapotosky  | September 20, 2010; 5:12 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Zapotosky, Pr. George's, Traffic Accidents  
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Comments

Our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha and her family.

Posted by: krickey7 | September 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Bike lane anyone?

Posted by: msdooby1 | September 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Talk about and irony -- a gigantic SUV hits a green party candidate.

If I thought that I had hit a deer, I certainly would have pulled over to the side of the road to check my car for damage and to see what happened to the deer. Had the deer been injured, which in all likelihood it would have been, I would have called the police.

The Post, as is so often case nowadays, left some questions unanswered, such as:

Why didn't the driver notice the bicyclist?

Didn't the driver hear or feel the bicycle scraping below the SUV?

Were the driver and the bicyclist going in the same direction? I have seen bicyclists ride against the direction of traffic.

Was the bicyclist in front of the SUV, to the right, or to the left? (Probably not in front, but you never know, the SUV driver may have been yammering on a cell phone, texting, or looking at map screen, and simply didn't notice the bicyclist.)

Was the bike rider wearing a reflective vest? Did the bike have a headlight and tailight?

Posted by: RockvilleBear | September 20, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If anyone believes the driver's story I have a bridge to sell you...

Posted by: CrabHands | September 20, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Unless a police officer -- other than one from Prince George's County -- witnesses the hit, the usual penalty for hitting a human being on foot or bicycle with a motor vehicle is a negligible fine. Extent of injury, including death, has no bearing.

If a typical PG officer sees the "accident" there will be no penalty because there will be no report.

Most responsible drivers would stop to investigate ANY suspicious bump. But you'll find few of this type in PG County, which morally and socially is VERY closely akin to D.C.

Posted by: kinkysr | September 20, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Person should hang.

Posted by: Anaxamander | September 20, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Too bad it wasn't Mikulski, Sarbanes, Cummings or one of the many other socialist spend thrifts from MD.

Posted by: madmax8600 | September 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Something doesn't sound right about this. It's early morning on a Sunday, so traffic should be very light. I looked up the area where the cyclist was hit on googlemaps, and 202 is a 4-lane road with a median, so the driver should have had plenty of room to pass the cyclist. I'm assuming that the cyclist was using a rear light so that she could make herself seen in the dark (which someone who was routinely training should have had the sense enough to do, but maybe she didn't). I don't buy the bit about the deer.

Posted by: graphchick1 | September 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The victim of this accident is now deceased. My prayers and condolences are with Ms. Henry and her family (Natasha's mom). All those who care please show your support by listening, being available; take appropriate initiative to help Ms. Henry during this time as this is a very difficult time.

As for the driver of the SUV; my prayers are with you too as you will forever have to live with the fact that you accidently took a life. Yes it was an accident and accidents happen. There are just so many unanswered questions. It's now between you and God.

Posted by: nikkimitchell | September 20, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@madmax - You stink.

The victim likely went through a long, painful decline, if they were conscious at all, while friends and family watched and waited, hoping for the best, only to suffer the worst. Broken bones, bruises, abrasions, cuts - it's a terrible way to go, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Please crawl back under your rock.

Posted by: ennepe68 | September 20, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry that the woman lost her life, but it's not safe to be riding a bike at 5:30 in the morning. The sun isn't out. Bike lights are minimal.

It's common sense.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | September 20, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry ennepe68. I feel for the victim and it wasn't a commentary on her suffering. I wish her family the best in this tragic time.

Otherwise it's called a joke, admittedly in poor taste but with the conditions in MD and the gov'ts inability to control spending while taxing the people to death and pandering to illegals, I thought it was apropos. It's also called freedom of speech, remember the thing in that pesky Constitution that liberals keep wiping their a**es with. So if you don't like it, tough sh*t.

Posted by: madmax8600 | September 20, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

@madmax - Freedom is one thing, responsibility is another. Sure you have the freedom to make a joke, but did you stop to ask if it's the right thing to do?

Sure it was a joke -- I can see that -- but it was a poor one. It has nothing to do with spending and taxation and illegals (illegals? you gotta be kidding me?).

And back at ya -- if you don't like it, tough sh*t.

Posted by: ennepe68 | September 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

People please Ms Pettigrew is not dead.

She is in critical condition but is still

holding on her own. This is a very

sensitive matter to us the Green Party.

and also her family. The Police Dept

should be held accountable as well as the

driver.

Posted by: crmars712 | September 20, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Why shouldn't a cyclist be able to ride (cautiously) at 5:30 AM - with lights. The lights may have been smashed in the crash.

Posted by: fredcorgi1 | September 21, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

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