The first two bicycle racers in Sunday s Iris Stagner Memorial Race come down a small hill at the Hill s Above PK. Not far behind are the rest of the riders, as one glances back to see just how close. (Mark Engebretson)
This group is those racing during Sunday s Iris Stagner Memorial Race Sunday which started at Graford. (Mark Engebretson)
Andy Hollinger, race organizer at Team Bicycles Inc., said the Iris Stagner Memorial Race was a successful event, despite an accident that sent four to hospitals.
"It worked out wonderfully," he said. "We had 320 people."
The accident was late in the race Sunday when a cyclist went down, taking down what was reported to be six other riders. The crash resulted in three being flown to Fort Worth hospitals and one taken to Palo Pinto General Hospital.
"Three are getting surgery, the one taken to the local hospital was treated and released," he said.
Hollinger explained that the racers ride very close together.
"Stuff happens," he said. "It's nobody's fault, it's part of racing. Those helmets saved the girls' lives. They were seriously injured, but not life threatening."
Hollinger credited the deputies of the Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Office, the Graford Volunteer EMS and PK East Volunteer EMS for helping keep the situation from becoming tragic.
"We had a lot of help from the Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Office that used the Graford and PK EMS," he continued. "It's world-class care. All four are doing well."
Deputies escorted groups of riders around the course from Graford along Highway 254 to Highway 16 then to Highway 337 and back to Graford.
"I don't think there was a single negative interaction in the Graford area," said Hollinger. "We truly appreciate it. I've never had people out there give us a hard time (about traffic slow downs)."
Results are at www.teambicyclesinc.org, click the Iris Stagner Memorial Race.