Oct 9, 2013 9:00 PM by Danielle Lerner

Cyclists hit by car, state lawmakers pushing for tougher safety laws

TUCSON- Two bicyclists hit by a car are now sharing their story, hoping to save lives. Brendan Lyons and his girlfriend were riding eastbound on Sunrise Road, west of Kolb last Friday morning. Deputies say the driver, also headed eastbound, took his eyes off the road and drifted into the bike lane, hitting Brendan from behind. That driver received two civil citations and the accident is fueling a push for tougher safety laws.

Brendan Lyons spoke with News 4 Tucson's Danielle Lerner from his hospital bed at Diamond Children's. He'll be there for some time recovering from serious injuries. He says he's now on a renewed mission to keep other cyclists safe.

"When I see my bicycle, I don't know why I'm here, I should be dead," Brendan Lyons said.

He survived, but his body is broken. The 29-year-old Rural Metro firefighter is now forced to focus on helping himself instead of helping others.

"I keep thinking that over and over, I should not be alive," said Lyons.

His girlfriend, Lorena Evans, is also recovering. The ER nurse suffered physical injuries but says the memories are haunting.

"I was there and I saw him on the road and I honestly thought he was dead, I honestly did," she said.

The accident took Lyons off his bike but it has not put the brakes on his passion for advocacy. He is the founder of "Look! Save a Life," a local non-profit that supports safe cycling. Even from his hospital bed Lyons is working with state leaders to develop stricter laws against distracted driving, while promoting cycling education.

"Looking at the three-foot rule, expanding that to a five-foot rule, looking at bicycle helmet cams, making sure that is admissible as evidence," said Republican State Representative Ethan Orr. "Even looking at the way cyclists stop and start at four-way stop signs."

"When you put a law into place, against certain practices that are dangerous, then you strengthen that little cop we all have in our heads that says don't do it," said Democratic State Senator Steve Farley.

For now Lyons and Evans are taking things one day at a time, ever grateful for the outpouring of support in their time of need.

"Put a smile on your face and pay attention to the road," Lyons said. "That's what I need."


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