A lot of drivers hate cyclists. A lot of cyclists hate drivers. Then there's Emma Way, who hates cyclists so much that she hit one with her car, drove away, and bragged on Twitter about how it wasn't her problem because the cyclist "doesn't pay road tax." Unfortunately for Emma, her local police also use Twitter.
UPDATE: Way now says she isn't anti-cyclist because she's "a cyclist herself." She's also been suspended from her job and her personal life has taken a nose dive...
The incident occurred yesterday in England, when Emma was driving in Norwich. According to a witness, she sped around a corner just as cyclists who were part of a 100-mile race were coming the other way and hit 29-year old rider Toby Hockley. The mirror hit Toby and broke, sending him off the bike and into the trees where he was banged up, but wasn't seriously injured.
You'd think that, as a motorist, Emma would stop and help Toby since she just hit him. Nope. Not the case. Instead, she drove off, and tweeted about the incident right after it happened.
There are some things you just don't tweet about. Committing a crime, and then acting indignant about it, is one of those things.
But in today's always connected world, Emma made a pretty critical error. Twitter users saw the tweet, and instead of siding by her "suck it cyclists" mantra, they sent it off to the Norwich Police Department, who also happen to be active on social media.
@emmaway20 we have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us— Norwich Police (@NorwichPoliceUK) May 19, 2013
Even though the crash hadn't totally been confirmed, people started looking into Emma's social media profiles. They reportedly found photos of her tailgating other drivers as well as a picture of her speedometer a 95 MPH that were also sent into the police. Once the tweet started to go viral, Emma deleted her Twitter account. But by that point, the damage was done and the tweet was out there in perpetuity.
And that's when the rider decided to come forward. For some reason, Toby wasn't going to tell anyone because he didn't want his girlfriend to fear for his safety while riding. His under-sharing is almost as extreme as Emma's over-sharing. But once Toby saw her attitude in the tweet and how widely it was shared, he contacted police.
His riding club, Iceni Velo, issued this statement about the incident:
As a club we are conscious that we share the road with other road users all of whom are expected to adhere to the requirements of the Highway Code. Incidents like this seem to be relatively rare and we are disappointed by the reaction of the individual motorist involved. We hope this raises the awareness of how vulnerable people can be whether that's as a cyclist or pedestrian on our roads. The club and its committee will cooperate fully with police enquires where necessary and when asked to do so.
Once they had both pieces of the puzzle, Norwich Police confirmed via Twitter that they had identified who was involved and were "progressing with them."
Thank you to all those that have forwarded tweets on a bike RTC. We have the info we need and are making further enqs.— Norwich Police (@NorwichPoliceUK) May 20, 2013
1/2 RTC update -we have identified parties believed involved and are progressing with them. Thanks for all the comments & feedback.....— Norwich Police (@NorwichPoliceUK) May 20, 2013
2/2 sorry ..but for obvious reasons we are unable to put any futher info on this into the public domain. #staysafe— Norwich Police (@NorwichPoliceUK) May 20, 2013
Just because you can share something doesn't mean you should share something. That means a hit-and-run you just committed is not the best thing to put out there if you don't want to get caught. Emma learned that lesson the hard way, but thankfully she didn't kill anyone.
Think before you tweet folks. And don't drive away if you hit a cyclist.
Photo Credit: Iceni Velo Cycling Club