Hawaii news reports that a professional athlete sustained serious personal injuries while competing in Honolulu's 39th Annual Ironman competition.
The cyclist was riding on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when he collided with a vehicle crossing the road. He was traveling at full speed when the accident happened. He was treated at North Hawaii Community Hospital where he is said to be improving.;
Observers noted that people in charge of directing traffic allowed two or three cars to cross at a time, and believed that it was "an accident waiting to happen." The accident is under investigation.
The incident raises several questions. First, while athletes may sign waivers acknowledging the risks involved in the athletic event, event organizers and contractors have an obligation to maintain safety. If they allow unreasonable risks or known hazards to exist, they may be responsible for injuries if they acted negligently. It is also unknown whether the driver of the vehicle had been allowed to cross the intersection. If the driver entered of his or her own accord, then he or she could be found partly at faulty.
It is also important to determine whether there was a prior history of danger at this intersection, or any other factors that may have played a role.
While sporting events - whether 5K races, marathons or Ironmen attract both amateur and professional athletes alike, hosts owe a duty to ensure that participants are reasonably safe. For more information or if you or a loved one was injured in a sporting event, please contact the experienced Hawaii personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.