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Sunset Hills 911 caller says car hit bicyclist and fled scene

Sunset Hills 911 caller says car hit bicyclist and fled scene

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SUNSET HILLS • 911 recordings after an incident Tuesday afternoon involving Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer and a bicyclist contain audio of a witness shouting at a fleeing car to stop after an accident.

“Pull over, pull over! You just hit that guy and took off!” a caller can be heard saying on a 911 recording released to the Post-Dispatch on Aug. 4 through an open records request.

Police are investigating claims by Fenton bicyclist Randy Murdick, 47, that Furrer, driving his red Mercedes convertible, cursed at Murdick and intentionally hit the cyclist with his car Tuesday afternoon in the 12000 block of Old Gravois Road.

Murdick says he was nearing the end of a 40-mile ride when he was confronted by the mayor, who told him to get off “my roads.” Murdick says he suffered bruises, a torn Achilles tendon and that his $12,000 bicycle was heavily damaged.

The mayor denies Murdick’s allegations and says Murdick whipped around a corner without heeding a stop sign and cursed when the mayor told him to obey traffic laws. Furrer said he did not swerve into Murdick but saw him tumble over while looking in his rearview mirror. Furrer also said he continued west down the road but turned around as soon as possible.

In the 911 audio, a caller tells a dispatcher, “I would like to report a hit-and-run over here on Old Gravois Road, right here by Delta Dental. … The guy hit a bicyclist, drove off and then turned around and came back."

In another 911 call, from Murdick, the cyclist provides his location and says “I’m fine” when asked if he is injured. “The guy that ran me off the road’s here,” according to the audio. The dispatcher then told Murdick not to talk to the driver of the car.

On Thursday, St. Louis County police took over the investigation at the request of Sunset Hills Police Chief William LaGrand. The chief said he asked for St. Louis County’s help to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.

LaGrand said police interviewed three witnesses in addition to Furrer and Murdick. LaGrand said Furrer did not leave the scene of an accident because he turned around and came back.

News of the incident went viral through social media, prompting a deluge of calls, emails and text messages to the mayor. Cyclists are planning a protest ride through Sunset Hills at 9 a.m. today to promote bicycle safety.

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