Report: Dartmouth coach Teevens’ ‘failure to yield’ contributed to bicycle crash that hospitalized him

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-31-2023 5:24 PM

Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens’ “failure to yield right of way” contributed to him being struck by a pickup truck while riding a bicycle earlier this month in Florida, according to an enhanced Florida State Police crash report released this week.

Teevens was critically injured during the incident on March 16 in St. Augustine, Fla., where he and his family own a home.

The driver of the truck, 40-year-old Jennifer Reann Blong, has a listed St. Augustine home address 2 miles from the Teevens’ home. In the report, Blong was estimated to have been driving north at 50 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the collision on State Road A1A at about 8:50 p.m., an hour after sunset.

The Teevens’ St. Augustine house is located 1.5 miles from the crash scene. The report’s diagram shows Kirsten Teevens, the 66-year old coach’s wife, remaining on the west side of the road while her husband attempted to cross to the east and toward the beach. The couple were returning from a restaurant dinner, Kirsten Teevens told the Valley News in a text last week.

The report describes Buddy Teevens riding perpendicular to automotive traffic and outside of any marked crossing area. He was not wearing a helmet nor any illumination, according to the report.

The responding state trooper wrote that Blong’s 2004 Ford F150 pickup truck suffered front-end and windshield damage before veering off the road’s near shoulder and coming to a stop. The report details skid marks in the road up to 128 feet long.

Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Dylan Bryan, who is also a public information officer, said St. John’s County Sheriff’s Department members were first on the crash scene. A Highway Patrol trooper arrived 36 minutes after the crash was first called in, and Teevens, who had “incapacitating” injuries, was transported to a hospital in a medical helicopter and in critical condition.

Bryan said requests for the Highway Patrol to take over an investigation are routine in Florida with collisions involving bodily injury or death, because troopers are trained in vehicular incidents and fatalities. He said the length of time between the crash and the trooper’s arrival would not be unusual because there are only two or three troopers working a county of approximately 300,000 residents on any given night.

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The report is listed as incomplete with the notation “pending charges” given as the reason. Blong was not suspected of having used drugs or alcohol and was not tested at the scene.

The report notes Blong is uninsured. It is against Florida law to drive without a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance and at least $10,000 in property, damage, liability insurance.

Jacksonville television station WJXT produced a three-minute segment about the incident on March 21. In it, a reporter describes previously stated plans by the Florida Department of Transportation to increase safety in the area of the crash during 2024.

“I always ride on the sidewalk even though I’ve been told it’s illegal,” bicyclist Hanna Nemeck told the station, which aired footage showing a two-lane stretch of A1A. “I’m scared to be in the bike lane.”

The segment noted that, a day after Teevens’ crash, a truck turned into another bicyclist’s path on A1A and that person was also flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Within the last year, two pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles and another injured in the same area, the station reported.

In a text last week, Kirsten Teevens characterized her husband’s injuries as “serious.” Neither Dartmouth nor the family have provided an update on the coach’s condition since then.

Rick Bender, Dartmouth’s sports information director, said the college plans to provide an update on Tuesday, when Big Green football stages the first of its 12 spring practices.

Sammy McCorkle, Dartmouth football’s associate head coach, who also guides the secondary and special teams, is expected to be publicly named the Big Green’s interim coach Tuesday. McCorkle has stood in briefly for Teevens in the past when the head coach was off campus for practices.

Teevens is an experienced cyclist. He rarely drives when in Hanover during the warmer months and was often seen riding a mountain bike around town.

The coach is 117-101-2 in two stints as his alma mater’s head football coach. Teevens coached Dartmouth from 1987-91, sharing one Ivy League title and winning another outright. He left for Tulane and was an assistant at Illinois and Florida before becoming head coach at Stanford.

Teevens returned to the Big Green in 2005. Dartmouth shared the league title in 2015, 2019 and 2021. Teevens was honored as the New England coach of the year in 1990, 2015 and 2019.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.

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