Family, friends and co-workers were holding an around-the-clock vigil Wednesday for a firefighter who was critically injured Tuesday afternoon while riding his bicycle in South Austin.
Colin Camp, 33, was struck from behind by a pickup shortly after 4 p.m. in the 10500 block of Manchaca Road south of West Slaughter Lane, officials have said. Austin Fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said Camp, who lives in South Austin and was training for an upcoming bicycle race, was in critical condition and in a coma Wednesday.
The driver of the pickup, 60-year-old Stephen Charles Murphy, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to stop and render aid. According to an arrest affidavit, Murphy told police he had taken Ambien, a sleeping pill, about two hours before the crash.
Police on Tuesday said the pickup driver had remained at the scene, but officials said Wednesday that report was incorrect. The affidavit said Murphy stopped briefly but then drove off, and was chased on foot by witnesses until he stopped about 360 feet away. Although Murphy exited his vehicle and talked to witnesses, it said, he tried to return to his truck without approaching Camp, who had suffered massive head trauma and brain swelling.
Murphy was booked into the Travis County Jail on Tuesday evening, records show.
Since the crash, Camp’s colleagues from Austin Fire Station No. 28 in North Austin, along with family and friends, have held a vigil over the avid cyclist in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center Brackenridge, Buck said. Camp’s mother, father and sister were at the hospital, Buck said.
“We can’t say enough good things about Colin,” Buck said Wednesday at the station near Parmer Lane and MoPac (Loop 1) Boulevard.
Camp was riding in the bike lane and wearing a helmet when he was struck by the pickup, Buck said. He was thrown 50 feet and was unconscious when he was found, Buck said. Camp has since remained in coma, he said.
Buck said Camp joined the department in August 2006, and for the past four years has been working at Station 28, a special operations unit that handles building collapses, water rescues and other emergency incidents.
Camp completed the BP MS 150 race from Houston to Austin in April, Buck said, and was training for the August “Hotter’N Hell Hundred” endurance bike race near Wichita Falls.
He was “working out off-duty,” Buck said. “Our firefighters are expected to keep in top physical shape. Colin is one of those guys who flies right.”