KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — As he does most days, Paul Guthrie was peddling home from work just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, following the rules of the road.
But this routine ride became anything but when he stopped at the light at E. Kilgore Road and Lovers Lane, and a black Chevrolet SUV pulled up behind him.
“He bumped in to me. He rammed into me. Hit me pretty hard,” said Guthrie.
The driver’s reaction made it look like he blamed Guthrie for the crash.
“I turned around and he was wildly gesticulating and yelling and screaming at me. So I just got out of there,” Guthrie told 24 Hour News 8.
“I was totally shocked. I was just there. I don’t have eyes in the back of my head,” he said.
But Guthrie did have a camera mounted to the back of his bike, recording the video now shared on social media.
After the incident, the SUV driver made a right on E. Kilgore Road and took off.
“There was a lot of adrenaline surging. In hindsight, I would have liked to gotten off to the side and caught his license plate. But the best I did, I just got out of the way and called the police,” said Guthrie.
This isn’t his first collision with a vehicle. Guthrie says a distracted driver hit him a few years ago.
“And ever since then, I’ve had the camera and the rearview mirror,” he said, describing the combination flashing safety light and camera on his bike.
The case has been turned over to Kalamazoo detectives.
While the video shows what happened, a license plate number and the suspect can’t be seen.
The crash came three years and five days after a driver hit and killed five cyclists in Cooper Township, just outside Kalamazoo.
Charles Pickett Jr. was convicted of five counts of second-degree murder, five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury in May 2018.
In this case, Guthrie wasn’t injured and got back on his bike.
A longtime member of Kalamazoo’s biking community, Guthrie says he used to dodging speeding and distracted drivers.
“But this is a unique problem. People who are angry at bicycles just because they’re on the road,” he said. “I wish there would be some education to let them know that we legally have the right to be there.”
Detectives are seeking tips in the hit-and-run incident. Anyone with information leading to the driver in question is encouraged to contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269.488.8911.