Henry Corley was hospitalized with a fractured skull and a subdural hematoma after being attacked Tuesday. (Source: Henry Corley)
BYRAM, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Tuesday morning Henry Corley took his usual bike ride on Springridge Road. Hours later a stunning case of road rage left him with a fractured skull and a subdural hematoma.
The Byram cyclist remains in a Jackson hospital while Hinds County deputies search for the man responsible for putting him there. Witnesses are also doing everything they can to catch the attacker.
Quay Holmes had been working at her parents' CPA firm late Tuesday morning when some clients alerted her to a commotion outside. Across Springridge Road, she watched a large maroon pickup truck stop and confront a cyclist.
"He just jumped on him, started punching him down on top of his head in a downward motion like that, hit him two or three times. Then they broke apart. By that time my dad was heading across the yard. I had called 911," she says. "His passenger in the truck stepped out, motioned him to get back in the truck, let's go. They took off headed north on Springridge."
The section of Springridge Road outside Holmes' parents' business has one lane on each side, and no shoulder. But it's a long road, attractive for endurance cyclists. And it's perfectly legal for bike riders, according to Josh Sullivan, former President of Jackson Metro Cyclists.
"It's against the law to ride on Interstates where there's high traffic and high speeds. It's up to the cyclist's discretion where he wants to ride," Sullivan says.
He reminds us that it's the law for motorists to give cyclists three feet of space, and cyclists should get in single file on roads they share with traffic. He says both cyclists and motorists need to take the laws and practices seriously.
"Sad thing is, it becomes popular when things like the situation with Henry happen," he says.
Wednesday Corley told WLBT and Fox 40 the incident started when a pickup truck drove by too close.
"I held up three fingers to symbolize the 3-feet rule. I noticed that he stopped," Corley said.
The motorist got out and approached him. A passenger in the truck stayed put.
"I said sir, I want you to know I did not use the finger. I was holding up three fingers, which stands for the 3-feet rule. He said I know all about that 3-foot rule. I don't give a (blank) about that 3-foot rule," Corley said. "When he got out of the truck he started slapping himself like he was on something."
Corley said he remembers only one punch, and he heard witnesses yelling. His assailant then took off.
"The road rage against cyclists happens all the time," Corley said, adding that few motorists abide by Mississippi's bicycle safety law, which requires motorists to give cyclists 3 feet of distance.
Corley's friend, cyclist Jim Phyfer, said he's not sure if the symbol, holding up three fingers, is universal, but it's the only way for cyclists to communicate to motorists. He understands cyclists don't always follow the rules either.
"It's absolutely no excuse for what happened to Henry, or what they do to us when they pass us," Phyfer said.
Hinds County authorities are searching for a white male in his 30's with a military haircut. He's about 6'2" tall with a muscular build. He was in a maroon four-door pickup truck with a specialty tag of some sort. If you have any information about this crime, call the Hinds County Sheriff's Department at (601) 974-2900.
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