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MODENA, Italy (VN) — A road rage incident over the weekend sent a Spanish Olympic track cycling medalist to the hospital with broken bones.
José Antonio Escuredo, who won the keirin silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was hospitalized after he said an enraged taxi driver purposely ran him over.
According to reports in Spanish media, Escuredo was struck from behind after a verbal altercation with a taxi driver turned ugly. Escuredo yelled at a taxi as it passed his group of road cyclists too close, near his hometown of Olot in northern Spain. Spanish law requires motorists to give a 1.5-meter margin (about five feet) when overtaking cyclists.
Escuredo claims the taxi driver then rammed into him once the group had stopped at a traffic light.
“I heard how he revved up the engine and how the tires peeled out upon acceleration,” Escuredo told El Periódico. “I don’t remember anything else, just waking up at hospital.”
Escuredo claims the taxi struck him with his vehicle, leaving him with broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a fractured leg. The injuries will prevent him from competing in the Paralympics during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, where he was going to pilot a tandem bike with an athlete. He is expected to continue coaching the Venezuelan track team.
The taxi driver later turned himself in to Spanish police. Escuredo said he wants the driver charged with attempted homicide, newspaper reports said.