DANBURY — A Surry County woman was seriously injured in a bicycle accident Friday afternoon at Hanging Rock State Park.
Shannon James, an employee of Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care in Mount Airy, was in intensive care Friday night at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where she was airlifted after the accident. However, no information could be obtained on her exact condition.
James, who is in her early 30s, was riding a bicycle at Hanging Rock when the accident occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to Park Superintendent Dave Cook.
“It happened on the main park road,” Cook said, adding that James was believed to be riding with a friend. Cook was unsure of the exact number of people in her party since there were other bikers in the park at the time.
“They were going down the mountain,” the Hanging Rock official said, when the crash involving James occurred.
“Her front bicycle tire was flat,” Cook said. “We don’t know if that contributed to the accident or happened during the accident.”
The park superintendent added that James was wearing a helmet.
The mishap occurred in an area where the road curves, but luckily at a spot near a park facility, so employees were readily able to summon help. “Our maintenance staff, which was at lunch, heard the yells in our maintenance area,” Cook said.
Emergency personnel transported the injured woman to Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Danbury, where she was then transported by an AirCare helicopter ambulance to the Winston-Salem trauma center.
Cook said traffic on the park road was halted for about 45 minutes after the incident.
“This is also the third serious bicycle accident we’ve had in 11 months,” he said. “We really hate it when things like this happen.”
Cook said speeding bicycles have been a big problem along the mountainous descent, where the limit is 25 mph. But he said it was not immediately known if this was a factor in the accident involving James.
She is director of information technology for Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care, and formerly worked for the city of Mount Airy. James’ address could not be confirmed, but she has lived in Lowgap within the past two years.
“She’s a very nice lady,” Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said Friday night. “She’s been with Hospice for quite some time.”
Tom Joyce can be reached at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.