Home Depot, 1651 Airport Pulling Road South
A 17-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he was hit and dragged by a semi truck while crossing Airport-Pulling Road on his bicycle Tuesday afternoon.
Devon R. Tibbs, of Naples, had to be extricated from under the semi, and was transported to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said. He was conscious and breathing when emergency responders arrived on scene.
The mangled bicycle remained under the blue Freightliner while Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Anastasia Graeve investigated the scene.
The crash occurred around 4 p.m. when Tibbs, who was on the sidewalk on the east side of Airport-Pulling Road in front of Home Depot, attempted to cut across the road on his bicycle, Graeve said. At the same time the Freightliner, driven by 28-year-old Corey Fowler of Bowling Green, Fla., was making a legal right turn out of the Home Depot parking lot.
“He never saw him,” Graeve said of Fowler. “He didn’t realize that he had hit someone until a witness started honking their horn. And that’s when he stopped.”
An FHP report states that Tibbs was dragged under the semi.
However, Fowler had a slightly different story. Instead of crossing east to west in front of his semi, Fowler said Tibbs rode southwest to northeast “non-stop” while holding a drink in one hand.
“I was turning and he came straight across,” Fowler said. “I hadn’t even gotten out of first gear.”
The northbound lane of Airport-Pulling Road was blocked temporarily due to the crash. Charges are pending, according to reports.
Fowler, who has only ever hit armadillos and the like before, said hitting the teen scared him “a little bit.” He estimated he was traveling at less than 10 mph at the time of the crash.
“He just had scrapes on his arm,” Fowler said of Tibbs. “He was talking and everything.”
Connect with Ryan Mills at www.naplesnews.com/staff/ryan-mills/