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Bicyclist struck and killed by car on State Route 208 in Spotsylvania
BY SCOTT SHENK
A 48-year-old Spotsylvania woman with a history of mental illness left her house early Thursday morning on a bike and was later hit on State Route 208.
Allison R. Britt died at the scene east of Spotsylvania Courthouse, according to the county Sheriff's Office.
It was dark and foggy outside, said the woman's mother, Gay Britt, who added that her daughter suffered from bipolar disorder and often would "go on the run."
Sometime in the night, Allison Britt left the Stoneybrook subdivision home where she lived with her parents, her mother said. No one in the house knew.
The woman was riding her bike eastbound on Route 208 at about 2:30 a.m. when the incident happened, sheriff's Capt. Mike Harvey said.
A Volkswagon Passat hit the woman near Bloomsbury Lane, west of Smith Station Road.
Allison Britt didn't have any reflective gear on and neither did the bicycle, Harvey said. She was known to ride her bike at night, he added.
Her mother said it has been an ordeal trying to help her daughter, who has suffered from severe bipolar disorder for about 15 years.
She said the family, which includes Allison Britt's two adult daughters, had tried to have her daughter hospitalized several times, as recently as last month.
But since her daughter was an adult, she said they couldn't force her into a mental health facility or make her take prescribed medicine.
And her daughter didn't think she had an illness.
"She was a wonderful person, when she was herself," Gay Britt said.
But, she added: "She never takes her medicine."
Her daughter, a cancer survivor and former fourth-grade school teacher, would go on the run if they tried to get her to take her medicine or visit a mental health facility.
Gay Britt said something needs to be done to make it easier for the mentally ill to find help.
"No law is in place," she said. "There was no place for her to go."
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436