Bicyclist Strikes Van, Good Samaritans Rush to Help

June 5, 2012 Updated Jun 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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June 5, 2012 Updated Jun 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM EDT

NORTH TONAWANDA (WKBW) It happened just after seven, during the early Tuesday morning rush, a van making a left turn into a motel parking lot off Niagara Falls Boulevard, is struck by a bicyclist.

"There were approximately three or four cars that were stopped and were rendering aid to the bicyclist," Captain Gregory Schuey of the Niagara County Sheriffs Department said.

According to police, several motorists jumped out of their cars and performed CPR on the victim, 48 year old Curtis Senf, who was unconscious.

"They definitely helped out. I don't know if they saved his life but without their assistance he would definitely be in worse shape than he is," Captain Schuey added.

Senf was flown to ECMC where he is in critical condition as of Tuesday night.

Law enforcement and medical experts agree that Tuesday mornings incident on Niagara Falls Boulevard is a great reminder of the importance of learning and knowing CPR.

"This is the type of ending that we prefer to hear. That people did know what they were doing. They had taken the time to have this training and it appears that it seems to have helped out and that this cyclist may be alive today because someone took the time to be trained in these life saving skills," Jay Bonafede of the American Red Cross said.

But according to the Red Cross, less than half of all Americans know CPR. And whether it is online tutorials or full fledged certification classes, organizations like the Red Cross, American Heart Association, and others urge all people to consider learning.

"The longer a person goes without receiving CPR, their chances of survival drop dramatically as time goes on. So the more people that are trained and able to help out in an emergency situation the better that persons chances of survival are by far," Bonafede added.

Authorities say the bicyclist was wearing a helmet as well as reflective clothing at the time of the incident. But bike experts say that even with all those safety precautions, everyone out on the roadway still needs to be aware.

"It goes both ways. You need the proper riding on the bike and also the proper information to the car too," Lara Svensson of Bert's Bikes said, "just be aware of your surroundings."

Authortities say charges are possible against the driver of the van