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Hit-And-Run Victim Works To Make Pittsburgh Bike Friendly

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Andy Sheehan Andy Sheehan
KDKA-TV Investigator Andy Sheehan began his broadcast journalism...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Five-and-a-half months ago, Dan Yablonsky was riding his bike down Liberty Avenue when a jeep barreling through the intersection ran him over, shattering his body body from head to toe.

“Right there. Boom,” Yablonsky said.

Friday, with the help of a cane, he returned to the spot for the first time.

“There’s something that wanted me to come back to this city,” he said. “To see the view.”

It’s ironic that Yablonsky had only recently moved to the city to work here at Bike PGH — a bike advocacy group which promotes bike safety.

And he bristles when anyone calls it an accident.

“An accident conveys the impression that someone wasn’t at fault and I don’t think it was me,” Yablonsky said. “I was following all the traffic laws, I had a light on.”

And after striking Yablonsky, the driver just kept going — fleeing the scene.

Police have a suspect and say he was driving on the revoked list and admits to have been drinking.

Yablonsky finds the lack of humanity hard to fathom.

“To collide with another human being, your 2,000-poound vehicle, your 4,000-pound vehicle and leave them for dead — like road kill,” Yablonsky said. “He’s lucky I didn’t die that day, because if I had died the penalty would be astronomically higher than it is now.”

By all rights Yablonsky should be dead — saved only by the fact that he was wearing a helmet.

He was unconscious for three weeks and then began an excruciating series of operations at Allegheny General Hospital.

Both lower legs, his pelvis and his arm were shattered.

And on Friday, Yablosnky was overwhelmed with gratitude to his doctors and everyone else who helped him through.

“All the family and everybody who’s been praying all over the world for me,” he said. “I have to absolutely thank everybody for supporting me spiritually in their way, and I have to be thankful that it turned out the way it did.”

Yablonsky faces three more operations on his arm but he has every intention of being back riding a bicycle again — and working to make Pittsburgh a more bike-friendly city.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Five and a half months ago, Dan Yablonsky was riding his bike down Liberty Avenue when a jeep barreling through the intersection ran him over, shattering his body body from head to toe.

“Right there. Boom,” Yablonsky said.

Friday, with the help of a cane, he returned to the spot for the first time.

“There’s something that wanted me to come back to this city,” he said. “To see the view.”

It’s ironic that Yablonsky had only recently moved to the city to work here at Bike PGH — a bike advocacy group which promotes bike safety.

And he bristles when anyone calls it an accident.

“An accident conveys the impression that someone wasn’t at fault and I don’t think it was me,” Yablonsky said. “I was following all the traffic laws, I had a light on.”

And after striking Yablonsky, the driver just kept going — fleeing the scene.

Police have a suspect and say he was driving on the revoked list and admits to have been drinking.

Yablonsky finds the lack of humanity hard to fathom.

“To collide with another human being, your 2,000-poound vehicle, your 4,000-pound vehicle and leave them for dead — like road kill,” Yablonsky said. “He’s lucky I didn’t die that day, because if I had died the penalty would be astronomically higher than it is now.”

By all rights Yablonsky should be dead — saved only by the fact that he was wearing a helmet.

He was unconscious for three weeks and then began an excruciating series of operations at Allegheny General Hospital.

Both lower legs, his pelvis and his arm were shattered.

And on Friday, Yablosnky was overwhelmed with gratitude to his doctors and everyone else who helped him through.

“All the family and everybody who’s been praying all over the world for me,” he said. “I have to absolutely thank everybody for supporting me spiritually in their way, and I have to be thankful that it turned out the way it did.”

Yablonsky faces three more operations on his arm but he has every intention of being back riding a bicycle again — and working to make Pittsburgh a more bike-friendly city.

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