A long-time Lincoln bike cop is being sued after allegedly colliding with a 63-year-old woman while riding off duty on the MoPac Trail.

The lawsuit says Charlie Marti’s bicycle hit Margaret Wilson in a parking lot near 84th and O Streets as she and her husband, Roger, were returning to their car after walking the trail on the afternoon of Oct. 14.

The force of the crash sent Wilson airborne, and she landed on her head, was knocked unconscious and suffered multiple broken bones in her face, as well as a traumatic brain injury, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Lancaster County District Court.

Wilson spent nine days in the hospital, the suit says, and has racked up more than $116,000 in medical expenses, with bills continuing to mount. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages. 

Marti was one of the original members of Lincoln’s downtown police bicycle patrol team created in 1989. He since has moved on to other duties, but is known for keeping a bicycle in the back of his cruiser and riding it part time on his southwest Lincoln beat.

He also has served as the department’s bicycle safety officer and taught bike safety.

The suit alleges that Marti caused the collision by failing to keep his bicycle under control, watch where he was going and observe right-of-way rules.

Reached by phone Wednesday evening, Marti declined to comment on the lawsuit or collision.

“The legal system will take care of it (the lawsuit.) It will all be taken care of and how it ends up, it ends up,” Marti said.

Marti said he has yet to contact an attorney.

The Wilsons’ attorney, Maren Lynn Chaloupka, declined comment other than to say both experienced and novice cyclists have the same obligation to watch out for pedestrians.

Reach Nicholas Bergin at 402-473-7304 or nbergin@journalstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSBergin.

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