GULF STREAM, Fla. — Delray Beach fire officials said seven people were taken to the hospital Thursday morning following a crash involving a car and a group of bicyclists in Gulf Stream.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the crash happened just after 6 a.m. along North Ocean Boulevard, right in front of Gulf Stream Golf Club.
According to an FHP report, a 77-year-old woman from Lantana was driving a 2020 Kia Soul southbound on North Ocean Boulevard.
A group of eight bicyclists were heading north in the northbound lane and all riding abreast with one another, the FHP report said.
For an unknown reason, the driver of the Kia Soul crossed the center lane divider and entered the northbound lane of the road while continuing to travel south.
The front of the vehicle collided with a 43-year-old cyclist from Boca Raton, as well as the rest of the group of bicyclists.
The vehicle was driven onto an unpaved shoulder of North Ocean Boulevard and came to a stop facing south.
The report said the 43-year-old cyclist was separated from his bicycle and tumbled/rolled onto the northbound lane of the road. He was taken to Delray Medical Center with injuries described as "incapacitating."
The driver of the vehicle, along with six cyclists, were taken to the hospital. Three of the bicyclists were trauma alerts, Delray Beach public safety spokesman Ted White said.
The FHP report did not identify the driver or any of the injured cyclists.
Photos from our WPTV news crew at the scene showed the front of a silver SUV smashed up, as well as debris from the bicycles scattered across the road.
North Ocean Boulevard, starting at George Bush Boulevard, was closed for hours Thursday, but eventually reopened before 1 p.m.
"It was a pretty chaotic incident," said Chief Richard Jones of the Gulf Stream Police Department.
Jones was in the area and the first to arrive at the scene. A crash like this is something this small police department doesn't deal with often.
"Typically, crashes involving cyclists are typically cyclist-on-cyclist incidents and not groups of cyclists that are struck by a vehicle," Jones said.
Jones told WPTV that his agency is diligent about educating and enforcing the law in these popular scenic areas. He said this stretch of North Ocean Boulevard is one where bikes and vehicles must share the road.
"There are not many areas along A1A corridor that actually have designated bicycle lanes that allow for that two abreast or more to ride. It's really restricted to a single-file ride," Jones said.
WPTV spoke to one cyclist visiting from Canada who said this is the last and only time he'll bike on this road.
"Nobody told me the road is like this. This is the first time I take this side from my condo," Carol Gauvrau said. "It's not safe, no. I think I'll turn around and go this way."
Gulf Stream police said the cyclists were all wearing helmets.
The FHP has not said if the driver will be cited or face any charges.