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Gans whacks bicycling Rajewski with SUV

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Life exceeds art once again on Longboat Key.

Only on Longboat Key would a Commissioner who adamantly supported the Key Club approval, accidently crash into a former Commission candidate who campaigned against growth, tourism and the Club expansion plan, as the anti-development candidate rode his bicycle.

Town Commissioner Terry Gans struck resident and former Commission candidate Ray Rajewski as he crossed Bay Isles Parkway on his bicycle last Thursday.

According to the Longboat Key Police report, the crash occurred at 1:44 p.m. It states that Gans was driving his 2012 Lexus RX350 west on Bay Isles parkway and was attempting to make a right turn onto Gulf of Mexico Drive when he struck Rajewski and knocked him off his Earth Cruiser bicycle. The bicycle was struck on the rear wheel causing the rider to be ejected off the bike.

At the time, Rajewski complained of pain to the left shoulder, elbow, wrist and sustained abrasions. He refused transportation to the hospital.

According to the police report, Gans said he was unsure what color his traffic signal was at he time of the crash.

The only witness, Stephen Strong, who was driving behind Gans, said he saw the crash but did not see the traffic light.

For Rajewski, the issue was clear. He said he absolutely had a clear signal heading south.

No driver was cited according to the police officer on hand, Officer Fraser, “Due to the uncertainty of the traffic signal color. No fault could be determined at this time.

In the report, he did indicate that Gans “operated the motor vehicle in a careless or improper manner,” but did not ascribe fault.

Gans after the incident was glad he said, to find out that “Rajewski seems to be all right.” He added that “It is horrible when anything like this happens — it’s scary.”

For Rajewski, he said his bicycle needs a new rim and his shoulder continues to swell and he will see a doctor on Monday. But he is upset over the police interpretation.

“I have been riding up and down Longboat Key for nine years — I always look at the light. Why would I enter a crosswalk with traffic moving — I always look up. I purposefully looked to make sure it was green,” Rajewski added.

The police noted the damage to Rajewski’ bicycle at $100 and Gans’ vehicle at $400.

Rajewski told Longboat Key News last Friday he is considering running against Gans next year for his at-large Commission seat.

Many in Town Hall following the incident joked, “Sounds like the election politics got started early this year.”

But both Gans and Rajewski did report one thing they agree on, is the rules of the road and who has the right of way. They also both said the Longboat Key Police and Fire safety were extremely efficient, professional and exceeded their expectations.

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2 Responses for “Gans whacks bicycling Rajewski with SUV”

  1. Longboat Key News says:

    The incident took place at 1:44 p.m and has been corrected in the online edition. The print edition mistakingly placed the incident at 1:44 a.m.

  2. Georgie McFarland says:

    If in fact this incident occurred at 1:44AM why didn’t the Police give the Politicos a breathalyzer test?

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