According to a police report, 29-old Irena Ossola was riding her bicycle down a hill on West Alameda Street around 4 p.m. Friday when she collided with a Honda SUV that was turning left onto Quail View Lane. Ossola was taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital for a compound fracture to her right hand, two breaks in her right leg, a broken right arm, a left eye orbital fracture and brain swelling that was causing seizures, the report says.
The 72-year-old Honda driver, who has not been cited with a violation in the crash, told officers “the sun was blinding him and he didn’t see the bicyclist.” He said he heard a loud bang as he was turning and stopped his car. A witness said Ossola was going down a hill around 35 mph when she collided into the passenger side of the SUV.
Ossola’s family released a statement on her Facebook page Sunday. “Thank you for your support and well wishes! Irena is currently receiving excellent medical care… Her condition is still being evaluated, but she is making progress daily. We will continue to give updates periodically as we know more. We appreciate good thoughts and healing prayers.”
In September, Ossola took place third place at Cycligent Virtual Racing World Cup in Paris, where racers cycled on smart trainers with computer screens. “Happy I could make some fireworks go in the last stage and have an exciting win by breaking away 2km to go,” she posted on Facebook. “World Cup!”
A blog post from late August detailed success in the Tour de Kermesse in Belgium and The Netherlands, with 17 races in 34 days. She had two wins, a third-place finish and seven top 10s. “So much fun and such strong racing here. Pretty solid overall I think,” she wrote