Sometimes, social media is not your friend, particularly when you use it to brag about hitting a cyclist with your car—this after fleeing the scene—and tell the world that you, the driver, had the right-of-way, not the cyclist.
Such was the case with Emma Way, who was driving around a corner in Norwich, England, as cyclists of a 100-mile race were coming from the opposite way, as reported by the blog "I Pay Road Tax," a UK cycling site, and The Daily Mail.
Way's mirror hit cyclist Toby Hockley, sending him flying off his bike and into the trees.
Way was proud of her moment, sending out this tweet: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier—I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists"
Big mistake, Emma Way.
When you share such things with your followers, you’re actually sharing it with the world, which can sometimes include the police. In this case, it was the Norwich Police, which just happened to be monitoring Twitter.
The Norwich Police tweeted @EmmaWay20: "We have had tweets ref an RTC [road traffic collision] with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us."
After the twitterverse got ahold of @EmmaWay20's story, the cat was out of the bag. Reportedly, Way's employer even got involved. In the end, police used Facebook to track down Way.
Afterwhich, the Norwich Police tweeted: "Thank you to all those that have forwarded tweets on a bike RTC. We have the info we need and are making further enqs…We have identified parties believed involved and are progressing with them. Thanks for all the comments & feedback…but for obvious reasons we are unable to put any further info on this into the public domain."
As for Hockley, he noted on Facebook that he is fine and "got away with a bruised shin and sore elbow."
He was a bit more forthcoming with the BBC, however.
"A car came tearing 'round the blind corner and narrowly missed a cyclist in front of me," he told the BBC. "She came onto my side of the road; I took the wing mirror off, and I went flying off my bike into a hedge.
"She hit me hard, really hard. I am lucky to be alive.
"But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up. The car was nowhere to be seen. She hit me, and she was gone. All I know is that it was a blonde girl driving."
The “I Pay Road Tax” blog summed it up perfectly, writing, “You have to be a special kind of dumb to post that kind of comment to Twitter.”
UPDATE: Way broke her silence, doing an interview with ITV in which she apologizes, though some question whether the apology was for the tweet or the collision.
"It was a spur-of-the-moment thing and, you know, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it would ever escalate to this," she said.
"If I did cause any damage to him, I would obviously apologize. But I didn’t feel him even touch my car, so—apart from his handlebar donked the wing mirror…If I knew that he was hurt, I never would have driven off. That is just not in my nature.
"I just want to say sorry [for] any discomfort it’s caused for anybody. And if I could take back doing that tweet, I would. You know, my whole career is at risk now.”
Her Twitter account has since been terminated.