One local cyclist remains hospitalized in critical condition and two more are at home recovering from serious injures following a hit-and-run incident last weekend near Lodi.
Tracy Pengilly and Jessica Anderson are at home recuperating, while Dal Macahilas remains hospitalized. They were with a group of cyclists that were riding from Bear Creek High School in Stockton to Lodi last Saturday.
Pengilly, Anderson and Macahilas, all from Stockton, were headed eastbound on Armstrong Road between Davis and Lower Sacramento roads about 7:30 a.m. All are experienced cyclists and members of the Central Valley Triathon Club.
The suspect vehicle, believed to be a black Chevrolet SUV, also was traveling eastbound and approached the riders from behind. After being struck by the car, Pengilly and Anderson ended up on the shoulder of the road. Macahilas was run over and dragged by the SUV, ending up in the roadway as the vehicle sped off without stopping, according to Pengilly.
All three cyclists were transported to San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp. Pengilly was released on Monday, and Anderson on Tuesday. Lydia Macahilas, Dal’s wife, said he still remains at the hospital.
In a Wednesday blog post, Pengilly recounted the accident. She also thanked many people, including the California Highway Patrol, area firefighters and medical personnel at the hospital who helped them at the scene of the accident to leaving the hospital on Monday.
“I wish I could thank everyone individually,” Pengilly wrote in her blog. “Every Facebook post, text message, Instagram comment, and email means so much to me. This event has been a life-changing experience, not because of my injuries, but because of the outpouring of love.”
Pengilly didn’t remember much about the accident.
“The last thing I remember was hearing the sound of tires in gravel and loud cracking,” she noted on her blog. “Crack! Crack! Crack! My Garmin shows me accelerating from 17 mph to nearly 21 mph in a matter of seconds. Less than seven seconds later, I am no longer moving. My Garmin doesn’t detect movement again for almost two minutes.”
Pengilly said she has a lacerated left artery, multiple contusions and cuts that required stitches.
Anderson said she suffered a broken pelvis in two places that could take six to 10 weeks to heal. She also has “head-to-toe road rash” plus abrasions, puncture wounds and a broken right wrist that has been set twice. Anderson also has five stitches between her nose and lip, a cut inside her lip and “lots and lots of bruises.”
Anderson said she was hit first, followed by Macahilas and Pengilly.
“I was flying up in the air and came down and saw the car speed away,” Anderson said. “I felt like I was in the middle of the road. We were riding along the white line like we are supposed to.”
Concerned that she might be paralyzed moments after the accident, Anderson wiggled her toes and fingers. Pengilly helped Anderson and Dal off the road.
“She was protecting us,” said Anderson of Pengilly. “It was the most frightening experience of my life to say the very least.”
Anderson said she will have to use a walker during her recovery.
“(I’m) in a lot of pain, everything hurts,” Anderson said.
An operation on the right wrist is pending, Anderson noted.
Lydia Macahilas said she was going to meet her husband for breakfast later that Saturday morning. Then she received the phone call about the accident. Most of Dal’s injuries are in the torso area, Lydia said.
“This is very difficult thing that the family is going through,” Lydia said on the phone Wednesday night. “This is very traumatizing for us. I feel like we’re living in a horrible nightmare.”
Lydia expressed her concerns that the person who was driving the SUV that hit Dal, Pengilly and Anderson should step forward and take full responsibility.
“They were just out there doing something that they love, and in a blink of a second, that is taken from you,” said Lydia, fighting back tears. “How can you just leave someone lying there injured? It’s just not right. They (CHP) have to find who did it, they have to come forward.”
Lydia said she has not left her husband’s side since the accident. The couple, who have been married for almost 22 years and been together for 25 years, have a son, Dal Jr., 18. The couple works as purchasing agents for a petroleum company.
“Dal is my rock — I need him,” Lydia said. “He has a son that needs him. He has a lot of friends and family that love him. The outpour that have come to see him is unbelievable. He is well-loved by everybody.”
No one actually witnessed the accident. The four other riders were too far behind. However, Pengilly’s husband, Mike, said nearby surveillance cameras helped authorities identify the type of vehicle involved.
A phone call was placed to CHP’s Stockton office, but no additional information was available on Wednesday.
The Stockton Record contributed to this story.