A Texas man who broke his hand in a bicycle accident last summer says the Colorado Department of Transportation and two construction companies are at fault for allegedly failing to properly mark a roadway job site.
Daniel Herndon filed suit on Monday against CDOT, G.A. Western Construction and Elam Construction for his Aug. 4 wreck on Highway 82. He is seeking more than $100,000.
Herndon is a “serious road rider” who was in the Roaring Fork Valley vacationing with his family, said Herndon’s attorney, Jeff Wertz of Aspen, in an interview.
The retiree was biking downvalley just west of the Old Snowmass Conoco at the time, Wertz said.
“Herndon had no warning of any kind that he was approaching an area that had been modified and rendered dangerous by the repair work,” Wertz wrote in the lawsuit.
The filing says that CDOT contracted with Elam, which in turn subcontracted the job to G.A. Western.
The work involved changing the elevation of an iron drainage grate, the lawsuit says.
Without signs, barricades or flaggers, the “front wheel of Herndon’s bicycle went into the gap between the iron grate and the surrounding pavement that had been created” in the course of the repair work, Wertz wrote.
Herndon, who Wertz said was traveling at a healthy clip, flew off his bike and landed hard. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where he was treated for a broken bone in his hand and abrasions, he said.
Herndon went back to the site two days later to take photographs and saw G.A. Western trucks and personnel, leading to the Palisade-based company being named as a defendant.
A message left at G.A. Western was not returned, and Elam and CDOT officials declined comment.