The 29-year-old cyclist who was hit by a taxi that then sped off early Tuesday was injured more severely than police initially reported, her mother said yesterday.
Amanda Gillern, of South Philadelphia, is still at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with a punctured lung and broken neck, leg and ribs, said her mother, Sherri Gillern, of Dickson City, Lackawanna County.
"She got pretty banged up," Gillern said. "Thank God she's alive and not paralyzed."
Jefferson spokesman Rick Cushman confirmed that Amanda Gillern was still at the hospital in fair condition, but would not list her injuries.
Police said Tuesday that Gillern had received minor injuries on the line of bumps and bruises when a taxi struck her as she was riding her bike on Broad Street near Federal at about 2:40 a.m.
She and her dog, Vegas, a Boston terrier that she was carrying in her messenger bag, were knocked off her bike. Vegas was not seriously injured, said Emily Lopizzo, a friend of Gillern's.
"The cab hit her so hard the front wheel blew off and the frame bent," Lopizzo said.
Lopizzo said that the crash destroyed Gillern's bike, which, she said, had been made by Independent Fabrication and was worth roughly $4,000.
Gillern is wearing a neck brace and won't be able to ride a bike for at least six months, Lopizzo said.
Gillern, who had worked as a bike messenger for five years, had been hit before while riding, though not as severely, Lopizzo said.
She now works at Philly Car Share, her mother said.
Police impounded an Olde City Taxi that may have been involved in the accident and have questioned the taxi's owner and the two drivers who rent it, said police Sgt. Larry Ritchie of the Accident Investigation Division.
The night driver, whom police have not identified, is considered a "person of interest," Ritchie said.
Ronald Blount, head of the Taxi Workers Alliance, identified the night driver only as "Marty" and said he was driving cab No. P1441.
Michael Lieberman, a manager for Olde City Taxi, said he didn't believe that the impounded taxi was the one involved.
Each taxi has a GPS transponder that can track its movements, and the one police impounded had been traveling from Snyder Avenue to Vare at the time of the accident, he said.
"The closest he was was 9 to 10 blocks from the area," Lieberman said.
But Jim Ney, director for the Philadelphia Parking Authority's Taxicab and Limousine Division, said that the taxi the police impounded is "the one we identified for police."
Gillern's mother was disturbed by the reckless actions of the driver who struck her daughter.
"I don't know how anybody could drive away from the scene of an accident," she said. *