CHARLESTON -- An Urbana cyclist is recovering from injuries he sustained when he collided with the side of a van on East Lincoln Highway Road while taking part in a Charleston-area bicycle race on June 1.

The collision occurred as William M. Brown, 60, of Urbana was cycling southbound on County Route 1000E out of Lerna at 8:55 a.m., according to a Coles County Sheriff's Office crash report.

During an interview on Friday, Brown said he was focused on competing in the annual Tour de Charleston 50-mile bicycle race and catching up with the cyclist in front of him when he failed to notice the stop sign at the Lincoln Highway Road intersection.

"I am not making that mistake again," Brown said.

According to the crash report, van driver Sharon L. Trostle of Toledo said she honked when she realized that the cyclist was not stopping and she slowed her van to almost a stop but was unable to avoid being struck on the passenger side. Brown said the honking did catch his attention, which gave him about two seconds to slow down before he hit the van.

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The Mitchell-Jerdan Ambulance Service took Brown to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana for treatment of injuries. Brown said he suffered fractured ribs and a clavicle, as well as a broken thumb, but feels fortunate that his injuries were not worse. Brown said he was released from Carle after spending two nights in the hospital's care.

"They put me back together and I am on the mend now," Brown said.

Health, charity draws rider to Tour de Charleston

Brown said he hopes to resume cycling in July or August and plans to return to the Tour de Charleston someday. Brown said he took part in the inaugural Tour de Charleston in 2017 and really likes the race's course through the countryside.

"They make it clear it's an open course, and you have to follow the rules of the road," Brown emphasized.

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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