Rescue personnel take an injured motorcyclist to an ambulance after he was struck on Stone Drive on Sunday. Photo by Jeff Bobo.
KINGSPORT — A motorcyclist was hospitalized but didn’t appear to suffer life-threatening injuries Sunday evening after being struck by a van on Stone Drive in front of the Rick Hill Imports dealership.
Neither the identification of the motorcyclist nor the driver of the van was available late Sunday.
The Kingsport Police Department and Kingsport Fire Department were dispatched to the scene around 7 p.m. Sunday.
A motorist who witnessed the accident told the Times-News the westbound motorcyclist initially ran out of gas on Stone Drive near Taco Bell. The biker apparently switched to the reserve tank and continued west.
“We passed him right here (in front of Rick Hill Imports) and he ran out of gas again and got over into the median,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified. “He was sitting still and that van hit him, and he flew up into the air off of that van and landed on the ground.”
Witnesses said the motorcyclist got up and was walking around after the accident before rescuers insisted that he lie back down on a stretcher. The motorcyclist, who was wearing a helmet, was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center. His condition was unknown late Sunday.
The driver of the van told the Times-News this is the second time he has hit a motorcycle. He said the first time was his fault, but he didn’t believe Sunday’s accident was his fault.
“I don’t know what happened,” the driver of the van told the Times-News. “I don’t know if he got in the center lane, pulled back out, or what he done. I pay attention. I don’t just go around hitting people.”
The van’s airbag deployed. There was a “spider-web” break in the van windshield, and the van driver told the Times-News that was from the motorcyclist’s helmet.
A Kingsport firefighter said the motorcyclist didn’t appear to suffer life-threatening injuries.
“He got lucky,” the firefighter said.
The Times-News was unable to make contact with the KPD investigating officer late Sunday.