A Florida woman struck a sheriff riding his bike, leaving him with a broken bone in his leg — because she was shopping on Amazon while driving, authorities said.
Paige Bergman, 20, was arrested at her Deltona home early Friday following the hit-and-run collision in a Hyundai Sonata that injured Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood as he took a bike ride Thursday afternoon in Port Orange, police said.
Bergman, who has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, was driving a maroon sedan while distracted when she drove into the sheriff, Chitwood said.
“She says she was shopping on Amazon on her phone when she hit me,” Chitwood said on Facebook. “Please let this be a warning to put your phones down while you’re driving before you kill someone.”
Chitwood said he believes Bergman had “no intention” of running him down, but that someone else could’ve been more seriously injured if they had been struck.
“Just imagine if that had been a child or an elderly person on that bike, or if the car drifted a couple more inches to the right,” Chitwood said.
A 3-minute video posted by the sheriff shows a man driving a trash truck pulling up to Chitwood after the accident. The footage then cuts to a deputy arriving at the woman’s home, where she was taken into custody. Bergman can be heard saying that she earlier “hit a mailbox,” video shows.
“She did not hit a mailbox; do you want to know what she hit?” the deputy asks a man believed to be Bergman’s grandfather. “Uh, Mike Chitwood, the sheriff.”
“Was he on a bike?” the man asks.
“Yes, he was — and she didn’t stop,” the officer replied. “So that’s the reason why we’re here.”
Chitwood tweeted video of himself being treated at a hospital Thursday, saying he had just gotten on his bike for a 20-mile ride after getting home from work.
“And the next thing I know, boy, I got hit and got hit hard from the rear,” the sheriff recalled. “I go flying off the bike and all I can tell you was it was burgundy-colored car because the mirror was impaled in my back.”
Chitwood, 57, had a nasty abrasion on his back following the hit-and-run, a second video he posted shows. He also needed a few stitches and had a fractured fibula that doctors think will heal on its own, he said.
“I consider myself lucky to be back on my feet today,” Chitwood said.
The recovering sheriff, meanwhile, is expected back at work Friday, a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.