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Driver vexes injured biker

By Matt Russell

mrussell@postbulletin.com

Things can happen to you in life that can change, at least temporarily, the way you look at the world.

Such is the case with Kurt and Sandy Schroeder of Rochester, who are left with questions and disillusionment after an accident left Kurt’s arm in a sling.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when Kurt, a 34-year-old IBM software engineer, began riding his bike to work to save money on gas.

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Kurt’s plan worked fine until Friday at about 4:20 p.m., when he was riding his white 12-speed down the right lane of North Broadway. A car flashed in front of him. He didn’t have time to react, much less slow down, he said, and he slammed into the car’s rear panel, bending the bike’s front fork inward and knocking him hard to the asphalt.

"It was complete bewilderment and then impact," he recalled.

The sporty two-door maroon car fled the scene, with neither Kurt nor other witnesses catching any license-plate information. The car drove west down 11th Street Northwest, which comes to a dead end a few blocks from where the accident occurred.

Police and an ambulance arrived, backing up traffic behind them. Sandy arrived at the scene with her and Kurt’s three children, and one of them asked, "Is Daddy dead?"

Kurt went to the emergency room at Olmsted Medical Center, departing four hours later with his left arm in a sling and news that his shoulder had been dislocated and slightly fractured.

Kurt said insurance will cover the medical costs, and he isn’t looking for money. But a question gnaws at him: Why did the driver leave the scene?

"I am an extremely forgiving person," he said, "but I believe in personal responsibility, and to me, that’s heinous."

Kurt said he won’t ride his bike to work anymore, and he doesn’t like that what happened on North Broadway made him make that decision.

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He wants the person who hit him to understand that he or she did something wrong. He also hopes anyone who might know anything about the accident will call the police, at 328-6800.

"I’m not on a vendetta," stressed Kurt, who said he can’t get his son’s fear at the accident scene out of his mind. "But it is personal for me."

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