NAPLES, Fla. -- A Naples man says he was a target of road rage. He is speaking out after surviving a hit and run, while riding his bike. Deputies arrested the driver and charged him but now that bicyclist has a message for other riders.
"We were moving at about 30 miles per hour trying to get away from this guy," said Thomas Barrett, a bike rider who survived a hit and run accident.
In his 20 years of competitive bike riding Barrett has never come across anything this violent.
"This is by far the most terrifying experience I've ever had. He tried to kill us with his truck," said Barrett.
He said a driver with road rage tried to purposely hit him, while he was out for his weekly ride in Naples.
"He was actually like behind us acting like he was going to run us over," said Barrett.
Barrett said he and his riding partner were in the bike lane just off US41, when a man driving a truck started honking his horn. Barrett admits he made a vulgar gesture and tried to slow down to let the truck pass.
"Slammed his breaks, started driving erratically like trying to hit us. Swerving side by side, he sped up behind us, cut in front of us," said Barrett
When the driver slammed on his brakes, Barrett slammed into the truck's bumper. A picture shows the dent his body left in the truck. When Barrett came to, the driver was no where to be found.
"I was standing there and the truck just peeled off after I slammed into the back of him," said Barrett.
According to an arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol, John Ludwig, 44, of Naples, was behind the wheel. WINK News tried to speak Ludwig but he did not return our calls. Barrett said he's hurt and has to take off time from work. It's taught him a lesson he'll take with him on future rides.
"If it wasn't for my helmet, I'd probably be dead. This just proves to me, switching to 100 percent of the time, wearing a helmet, it saved my life," said Barrett.
Ludwig is charged with felony hit and run. Right now he is out of jail on bond.