Karen Velie

A Cal Poly student sustained minor injuries after a Volkswagen Beetle’s right rear tire rolled over her head on Wednesday evening. She was luckily wearing a helmet.

Caroline Capelle’s helmet, though severely damaged, protected her from serious injury.

“It was completely crazy,” Capelle said. “I was crying because it was very fast and I didn’t realize what was happening.”

Capelle, a 21-year-old foreign exchange student from France, was traveling westbound on Foothill Boulevard when the Beetle turned in front of her. Capelle applied her brakes but the force catapulted her over the bicycle’s handlebars and in front of the car, according to a police report.

An ambulance transported Capelle to Sierra Vista Hospital where she was treated and then released with bruises, bumps and strains to her back and shoulders. She was unable to attend school on Thursday or Friday, but plans to attend today.

“I am always in pain, but I can’t miss too much school,” Capelle said.

Capelle plans to study architecture during her year at Cal Poly. She is from Epernay in France’s Champagne region. She arrived in the area two weeks ago.

Adrienne Stalling, a music freshman, hit Capelle as she attempted to enter the Stenner Glen parking lot.

“I was turning into an apartment complex,” Stallings said. “I looked around and saw some bicyclist, but I did not see her. I turned in and heard a bump. It was very traumatizing for everyone.”

This was the third bicycle-and-motorist-involved accident that the San Luis Obispo Police handled in the past week.

Each year in the United States, more than 500,00 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms and more than 700 deaths occur as a result of bicycle-related injuries, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

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