Two participants in the Madeira Beach Triathlon Sunday crashed during the bicycling portion of the event and suffered significant injuries, the Indian Shores Police Department said.
The accident happened on the Park Boulevard Bridge and involved a Bay-area man and woman in their 40's, investigators said. Their injuries were bad enough that one of them had to be airlifted to the hospital; both were released and are expected to be okay.
"I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that both these athletes will be back out and riding and racing again as quickly as their doctors allow them to," said Brian Harrington, the race announcer, who is also an experienced bicyclist. "You understand there are some risks. Sometimes you can do everything right and still get involved in an accident."
Harrington said it appears one of the victims hit a wet spot while crossing the metal grating on the draw bridge and slipped, crashing into another bicyclist. Several participants stopped racing to try to help.
"What's amazing is people actually stop doing their event to make sure they're okay. That's a very unselfish thing," said George Labanca, adding he knew of the victims. "One of the girls that went down was one of our friends that we train with and of course that makes it even closer."
Investigators haven't yet released the victims names and said they're still trying to determine if moisture on the draw bridge caused the accident.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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