San Diego County paid half a million dollars to a cyclist who suffered a traumatic brain injury after getting thrown from her bike while riding along U.S. Highway 8.
In August 2017, the cyclist who wishes to stay anonymous, was biking near Aurora Road on US 8 in a designated bike lane when she hit a broken section of asphalt that had risen from a tree root.
The impact sent the cyclist flying over the handlebars and onto the pavement. She was taken to a hospital where doctors diagnosed her with a traumatic brain injury from the fall, according to an April 2018 lawsuit.
Another cyclist was with them at the time when they noticed her handlebars jerk after hitting the protrusion, only seconds before she fell, according to a statement to police.
The county settled the case in October 2019 for $500,000, according to public records obtained by NBC 7.
The stretch of US 8 in unincorporated El Cajon has been in disrepair for years, according to public documents.
Motorists complained about potholes along US 8 in the months prior to the cyclist fall. Road crews for the county had also repaired several sections of the road; however, the flaw in the bike lane remained.
It wasn’t until after her fall and subsequent injury that the county made the necessary repairs.
"The County worked diligently to repair the rise in the concrete in the bicycle lane after the fall,” said attorney Daniel Petrov who represented the cyclist in her legal claim against the county.
“Unfortunately, it took my client suffering a traumatic brain injury before the repair was complete. Our hope is that the county continues looking for the rises or potholes on public streets, and especially bicycle lanes, so that bicycle riders can feel safe riding in San Diego County."
The County of San Diego did not respond to the settlement in time for publication. The article will be updated when it does.