Cyclist severely injured after hit by car wants safer roads in Rowan, Iredell counties

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A professional cyclist from Mooresville is calling on Iredell and Rowan counties to implement a Vision Zero program.

The plea comes after state troopers said a driver hit 19-year-old Seth Jones on Highway 152 in Rowan County on Jan. 27.

Jones was set to race for three months in Europe starting next month with the Hincapie racing team. Those plans are on hold.

The crash left Jones with a scar where doctors removed part of his skull to accommodate a brain injury. That’s been replaced, but he’s still in a wheelchair, thanks to the numerous fractures in his leg, spleen and spine.

“If I was there at the hospital seven minutes later, it would have been completely different," Jones told Channel 9 before he was released from Atrium Health in Charlotte on Wednesday. "I probably would not be here right now, which is crazy to think about.”

Jones, with the help of an attorney, is pushing for Vision Zero in those two counties -- a program Charlotte already uses to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries by adding more safety measures, such as bike lanes and street lights.

“I would love to see the roads be safer for cyclists and I think Vision Zero is a great starting point for that,” he said.

Despite all his roadblocks, Jones is committed to riding again. But he’s taking it one step at a time.

“I think I’ll eventually get to the point where I can race my bike again, which I’m really excited about,” Jones said.

State troopers charged the driver who hit Jones with driving with a suspended license.