Warren bicyclist seeks ID of van that hit him


The family of a Warren doctor struck by a minivan Thursday afternoon, July 4 — two days before his wedding — is reaching out in hopes that someone can identify the van that hit him as he crossed Metacom Avenue.

Dr. Christopher Luttmann, who lives on Bay Road, was riding his bike back from the Fourth of July parade at about 3:30 p.m. when he was struck while crossing Metacom near the Valero gas station, at the top of Seymour Street.

His wife Molly Luttmann Berardi — they were married Saturday, July 6 — said her then-fiance looked both ways before crossing, but was surprised to see a dark minivan headed right for him as he made his way across the southbound lane.

"This guy came up, doing 55 or 60 miles per hour," she said. "Luckily he has really good reflexes and turned just in time."

The van didn't hit him head on, but sideswiped Dr. Luttmann, throwing him to the ground and causing abrasions and bruising on his side, elbow, hip and leg.

After the accident, Dr. Luttmann said the driver stopped and rudely berated him for being in the road. Stunned, he told the driver he needed a minute to collect himself.

"He said, 'Do you want me to call 911?' If not I'm leaving,'" the man told the doctor.

When he again replied that he needed a minute, the man got in the van and left without calling for rescue, Ms. Luttmann Berardi said. The doctor was not able to get a plate, but said the minivan was dark and might have had some sort of writing on the side.

"He was in shock at this point and wasn't thinking about the plate," she said.

A witness called the accident in to police, but before they arrived Dr. Luttmann picked up his bike and left for home. Once there, his wife said, "he collapsed on the floor but declined medical treatment.

However, she said, he was clearly injured and remains very sore, especially in the hip/tailbone area. The two were married two days later in Bristol, and he made it through the wedding OK, with considerable pain.

"I said, 'Honey, I can get a wheelchair for you,'" she said. "But he said no."

Ms. Luttmann Berardi hopes that anyone who witnessed the accident and can identify the van will step forward and call. Those who saw it should call her at (401) 516-0546.


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