WESTON, Fla. – An elite athlete is fighting for her life after she was suddenly struck by a car.
Steve Mlujeak said it was around 9 a.m. Thursday when he first received a phone call that a cyclist he coaches and friend of six years had just been struck by a car.
"Clearly the driver was distracted by something," Mlujeak said.
He said Mayte Velasquez, 41, was traveling west on South Post Road toward Bonaventure Boulevard when she was hit by a white car early Thursday.
"Very experienced cyclist and there's a bike lane on that road, so I'm almost positive she would've been in the bike lane," Mlujeak said.
Twisted metal is all that was left of her bike. Fellow riders stopped by the wreckage as Weston firefighters placed Velazquez on a stretcher and rushed her to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood to be treated for several serious injuries.
"Broken bones, broken back, possible pelvis, hip, broken ribs and she has some bleeding on the brain," Mlujeak said.
While Local 10 News has learned the driver stopped after the wreck, the accomplished athlete, mother and wife now has a long road to recovery.
As Mlujeak stopped to check on his friend’s condition, he has a message to drivers when cyclists are also on the roadways.
"Give us some space," Mlujeak said. "I believe the law is 3 feet, and when you're in the bike lane, there is no excuse to hit somebody like that in the bike lane."
Local 10 News contacted the Broward Sheriff's Office to see what led up to the crash, if the driver was distracted and if she will be facing any charges.