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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edwin Gardner, a cycling activist from Nashville, was hit and killed by an SUV outside Charleston SC last month. At first, the police took the word of the driver and blamed Gardner for swerving into traffic.

The cycling community was outraged and demanded a thorough investigation. Police re-examined the crash scene, re-interviewed the driver, and located a number of witnesses. They released a report today, in which Gardner was posthumously cleared of any wrongdoing. The driver will be charged for her role in the death, although it looks as though it will only be for a moving violation, not homicide.
Bicyclists in South Carolina and elsewhere have advocated for years for officials not to determine fault before interviewing the bicycler or carefully evaluating a scene in terms of a bicycler’s rights to the road.

The situation involving Gardner focused new attention on the topic.

“There’s a mindset on the part of many members of the public and a good many police officers, in my experience, that roads are for cars and not bicycles,” said John Norris, a Nashville attorney and bicyclist who knew Gardner.
 
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Two years ago I was at the end of a 65 mile ride and was literally less than 1/4 mile from home. It was a four lane road (50MPH but most people are doing closer to 60MPH) with a bike lane that was as wide as the traffic lanes. It was about 10:30 on a Thursday morning and almost no traffic. I was riding in the middle of the bike lane and was struck from behind by some bimbo that apparently had something more important to do than to pay attention to driving. I don't remember much of the accident becasue I blacked out. The last thing I remember was hearing a car coming up from behind me, then I woke up on the ground and an offf duty firefighter/EMT was holding my head in place. I remember the cop asking me a bunch of questions before the ambulance got there, but not much more detail than that. I ended up with a snapped femur (which had to have a permenant rod put in it), a broken clavical, 3 broken ribs and a major concussion (my helmet was broken into 3 pieces).

After I got out to the hospital and was able to sit up, I contacted a lawyer. He had me get a copy of the police report. Besides the cop doing a piss-poor job on the report, he never cited her. Her statatement was "I saw him up ahead of me and I don't know why I hit him". He stated that the cause of the accident was her following to close behind! How the heck is that possible? She hit me while I was in the bike lane!

When she found out that I had gotten a lawyer, she went down to the police station and ammended her statement saying that I swerved into her lane (which was a complete lie, she just didn't want to be blamed).

This is in CA where we are supposed to be bicycle friendly. Go figure...
 

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Teach me how to Bucky
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Tough to defend yourself from a lying driver when you are dead. I'm glad they cleared his name.
 

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Power Play said:
After I got out to the hospital and was able to sit up, I contacted a lawyer. He had me get a copy of the police report. Besides the cop doing a piss-poor job on the report, he never cited her. Her statatement was "I saw him up ahead of me and I don't know why I hit him". He stated that the cause of the accident was her following to close behind! How the heck is that possible? She hit me while I was in the bike lane!

When she found out that I had gotten a lawyer, she went down to the police station and ammended her statement saying that I swerved into her lane (which was a complete lie, she just didn't want to be blamed).

This is in CA where we are supposed to be bicycle friendly. Go figure...
What ended up happening to her? Please don't say nothing.
 

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Baltic Scum
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vol245 said:
What ended up happening to her? Please don't say nothing.
"Nothing" or very little would be my guess. Reading stories like this over the years, I have come to the conclusion that in the US, you will get away with murder,manslaughter or assault as long as your weapon of choice is a car.
 

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Stories like this get me back to wanting rear-view and front-view cameras recording while I ride. Nothing like good video evidence to help prosecutors (or kick them in the arse) and maybe a few good prosecutions and the fear that every cyclist is recording what happens around them would make people think a bit more.
 

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... he never cited her. Her statatement was "I saw him up ahead of me and I don't know why I hit him". He stated that the cause of the accident was her following to close behind! How the heck is that possible? She hit me while I was in the bike lane!

When she found out that I had gotten a lawyer, she went down to the police station and ammended her statement saying that I swerved into her lane (which was a complete lie, she just didn't want to be blamed).
I'm sorry, this is a terrible thing that happened, but I can't stop laughing at how insane this is. Following too close behind? Oh I'm sure she was "following" right behind you illegally in the bike lane at 15-20 mph for just MILES, then just got a teency weency bit too close and gave you a nudge! "I saw him up ahead of me and I don't know why I hit him" LOL What?!? She might as well have said, "yeah, I totally saw him up there and I just decided to hit him - I don't know why though officer. Okay now, can I go? Yeah, thanks. You too! Have a good one *hums a happy song while driving off*"
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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vol245 said:
What ended up happening to her? Please don't say nothing.
Inquiring minds here want to know, too.

I'm more and more concerned by the "just an accident" mentality, and the consequences (and lack thereof) that go along with it.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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More and more cases are making it to judges here in CA. Hopefully the country will follow suit. There are lawyers that are advocating cyclists rights more and more out there so look for them if you have an "accident"! I am glad this person got his name cleared but his family deserves compensation for his wrongful death. I wear a camera on my helmet these days and it is always on when I am riding. The VholdR is great little product that is lightweight and takes HQ HD video. I have some great shots of really bad drivers doing stupid stuff while I am riding.
 

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OP - Thanks for this post. If for anything, awareness. What if there was a collective effort to forward these stories to local politicians along with photos and bio's of the victims so it's not just a name and/or statistic. Or better yet, Actually get these "Law Makers" to ride so they can get a taste of it. (Just thinking out loud here.)
 

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Cowboy up
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With wins like that who needs losses?

A UC Berkeley graduate student was killed by a reckless elderly driver while she waited at a stop light. She was an amazing person and her death a huge loss. http://classics.berkeley.edu/news/articles/story.php?id=17

There was the standard investigation followed by no charges being filed.
The UC Berkeley campus paper, and other local papers, would not publish the fact that DA decided to not file charges. It was not considered newsworthy.

A cyclist died in February here but it was not published by the papers and the police and park officials would not confirm that it happened, let alone discuss any charges.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=212844

Ed Weiss was killed by Thomas Michael Rores and no charges were filed.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=68507
 
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