Metro-East News

Bicyclist riding in MS fundraiser struck by hit-and-run suspect

The driver of a maroon Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, like the one shown in this photo, is being sought in connection with a hit-and-run of bicyclist on Sunday in Macoupin County.
The driver of a maroon Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, like the one shown in this photo, is being sought in connection with a hit-and-run of bicyclist on Sunday in Macoupin County.

A 55-year-old bicyclist is recovering after being struck in a hit-and-run accident while raising money for multiple sclerosis, and Macoupin County sheriff’s deputies are searching for the driver of a maroon Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.

Seth Gausnell of St. Louis suffered multiple injuries and was expected to undergo surgery on Monday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this accident and his family. It’s incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Rebecca Felig, president of the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Kahl said Gausnell was participating in the Bike MS Gateway Getaway Ride that had about 2,000 participants to raise money for multiple sclerosis but he was alone at the time he was struck about 9:45 a.m. Sunday on Illinois 4 north of Staunton.

Gausnell told a deputy he did not remember anything about the accident. He was first taken to Staunton Community Hospital and then airlifted to Barnes.

While the deputy was at the Staunton hospital, he met a man who said he has seen a maroon Hyundai Santa Fe SUV driving at a high rate of speed going south on Illinois 4 at about the time Gausnell was struck. The SUV had damage on the front passenger side.

This witness said the Santa Fe driver was a white male with a blue tank top and had his hat on backward.

Gausnell was going south on the highway about one-quarter to one-half mile north of the Staunton Country Club.

Rebecca Felig, president of the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said this is the first time in the 32 years of the ride that a participant had been struck by a vehicle. This was the second year of the ride based at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey. Previously, the fundraiser was held in Columbia, Mo.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this accident and his family,” Felig said. “It’s incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 217-854-3135, ext. 1.

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