Local/State

Hit-and-run victim recovers at home

Monday, June 04, 2012

Thirty-eight-year-old Jason Epstein was one of two cyclists to be hit-and-run victims in accidents in Raleigh this weekend.

The competitive cyclist was at the end of a nearly 50 mile ride when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver on Falls of Neuse Road. Epstein said all he remembers is taking a right before being hit.

"I was on someone's windshield and that doesn't end too well, and I'm glad that I went up and my bike went down because if I would've ended up under that car, I wouldn't be here right now," Epstein said.

His bike became trapped underneath the SUV driven by Linda Banks. Police said Banks did not stop and dragged Epstein's bike nearly a quarter of a mile until it fell from the vehicle.

After receiving tips from eyewitnesses, police said they were able to locate Banks and the SUV she was driving at the time of the crash. She was arrested and charged with DWI, felony hit-and-run, driving with a fake license plate, and driving without insurance.

While police were making the arrest, Epstein was at WakeMed Hospital, where he had to get 70 stitches to his face and neck.

"Maybe I wouldn't have turned right, and it wouldn't have happened, but it did. But it's the silver lining - she's off the road," Epstein said. "I'm very fortunate my injuries aren't worse and I'm alive."

Banks is being held on a $26,000 bond. She will make her first court appearance Monday.

Meanwhile, police are still on the hunt for another driver who fled the scene after striking a cyclist shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday at West Morgan and Hillsborough streets in Raleigh. The unidentified cyclist's was not seriously injured.

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wake county, local/state, kelli o'hara
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