This story has been updated.
Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, a former Bicycling editor and active member of the Boulder, Colorado, cycling community, was struck by a driver on Saturday, July 20, as he was riding home from a local velodrome. The driver then sped off, leaving him unconscious and critically injured in a ditch.
In the month since the crash, Bernstein has regained consciousness and told Bicycling that he’s getting used to speaking again. He said he still isn’t walking, but that he looks forward to starting rehab and working to regain his mobility. He is now undergoing treatment at Colorado Acute Long Term Hospital.
Gloria Liu, Bernstein’s fiancée and herself a former Bicycling editor, said Bernstein was riding alone from Erie, Colorado, back to his home in Boulder after training at the Boulder Valley Velodrome. He was heading west on Arapahoe Road, near Legion Park between 75th and 63rd streets, when it appears the driver hit him from behind. There were no witnesses.
“He texted me around 4 p.m. saying it was raining, and he had only gotten two of his three intervals in, and was going to come home,” Liu said. Two riders with whom Bernstein had been training saw him from their car at 119th Street and Arapahoe Road just before the crash occurred, which Liu estimated was between 4:30 p.m. and 4:40 p.m.
A passerby found Bernstein on the side of the road shortly afterward, according to police. Paramedics took him to Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital, but later airlifted him to the Denver Health Medical Center ICU due the severity of his condition.
Based on Bernstein’s injuries, his ER doctor described the crash to Liu as a “high-energy impact” and told her there’s no way the motorist would have been unaware that he or she hit someone. According to the doctor, Liu said, Bernstein’s injuries were “most definitely life-threatening.”
Due to the intense level of physical trauma, Bernstein was sedated for three weeks after the crash while doctors worked to heal his internal injuries and make sure he was stable enough to have additional surgeries.
Meanwhile, investigators with the Colorado State Patrol impounded a vehicle they believe was involved in the crash. The owner is cooperating with police, a CSP officer confirmed, though so far no charges have been filed and the driver’s identity has not been released.
“We have the vehicle, now we just have to make sure we have the right driver,” the officer said.
Since the beginning of the investigation, police had been searching for the suspect car, which they narrowed down to a third-generation (1994-2003) Dodge Cargo Van 2500 or 3500, white or light grey in color. Police released surveillance photos of a van they were seeking, which officers said brought in a tip that led them to the vehicle they ultimately impounded.
The Good Samaritan who first spotted Bernstein after the crash, called 911, and waited with him until the ambulance arrived had been trying to get back in touch for some time, Bernstein said. The man, who asked to only be identified as Tim, eventually connected with Liu and started communicating with Bernstein via text. On August 19, a month after the crash, Bernstein and Tim were reintroduced.
In an ironic twist, Bernstein learned that Tim, a recreational cyclist, had been hit by a driver while riding his bike in May and suffered a broken pelvis as a result. Bernstein extended gratitude to Tim on Instagram, saying,“I am broken and it is not certain that I will ever regain full functionality, but I lived. Without this man, I might not have. Thank you.”
Bernstein is an account manager with TRUE Communications, an outdoor industry PR firm. An elite-level bike racer on track and road, his true passion is race promotion. During his time on staff at Bicycling, he took pride in putting on Fall Classic events and interacting with readers and riders, as well as promoting local cyclocross races in Pennsylvania and New York.
He coached the Bicycling corporate challenge team to two consecutive wins on the track at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Colorado State Patrol Trooper Emery, at 303-239-4501, reference case #1D192958
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