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A great American was killed a couple days ago in San Diego. CAPT Walt Joller, USN was hit by a car while commuting home after work. the car inadvertantly strayed into the bike lane and ran him down. Walt was using lights and a vest but that did nothing to raise the driver's awareness.

Walt was a great Naval Officer, currently CO of TACTRAGRUPAC, former E-2C Hawkeye Type Wing Commander, Squadron CO, family man, well rounded athlete...and friend. Those of us who served with him and know him will be ever grateful for the experience.

A memorial service for this gallant Naval Aviator, great leader and true "officer and a gentleman" will be held on Saturday, 17 January at the MCAS Miramar Base Chapel at 1000. The family said donations may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in lieu of flowers. I understand that Walt's remains will be buried at sea from USS NIMITZ at a later date.

Here is what the news had to say:

"San Diego police want misdemeanor manslaughter charges brought against a driver whose vehicle struck and killed a bicyclist Tuesday night in Sabre Springs.

The Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim today as Walter Carl Joller, Jr., 55.

Joller was riding home from work on Sabre Springs Parkway south of Morning Creek Drive about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday when a vehicle crossed into the bike lane and struck him from behind, authorities said. He died at the scene.

Police said Joller had several lights on his bicycle and was wearing reflective tape on his helmet, shoes and seat, as well as wearing a reflective vest.

Investigators plan to request misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges against the driver, said traffic Sgt. Jeff Fellows. He said there are no indication that alcohol played a role in the crash.

Posted by Kristina Davis January 7, 2009 01:51 PM "

http://www.northcountytimes.com/articles/2009/01/07/news/sandiego/z85b3c
7b573f893f988257537006b968c.txt
 

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Failboat Captian
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That sucks. RIP, Capt Joller.

It really blows that people are allowed to be completely negligent while driving a car, and kill somebody, with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. I agree with people that say that it's because of our society's perception that driving a car is a God-given right, as opposed to a privelidge, and nothing can remove that right. Even killing people while doing things like texting on a cell phone. (not saying that was the case in this situation)
 

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Big is relative
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That just sucks. I don't know if I ever met him, but I am sure he will be missed. People who reach that height of a Naval Career are special.

LCDR Bigbill, carrier sailor
 

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It should be a felony, and the driver should see some incarceration (I can almost guarantee that would happen here)---- or they should rip up every bike lane in the US if they don't want to bother to protect those who use them.


BentChainring said:
Ugh, sad story...



That all for hitting a cyclist in the bike lane?/??
 

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Years back, in the 70's I moved to Edmonton, Alberta and was astonished that when I was walking the city streets and came to a corner on a busy street that the cars stopped to let me cross. After this happened a few times I asked why and was told that the drivers are legally responsible in case of an accident. It does not matter if I throw myself under the wheels of their car because they will still be considered at fault and charged accordingly. So if I looked like I might cross, the drivers stopped. It is no longer like that there now.

Most cagers are careful and considerate, but a stiffer charge than misdemeanor manslaughter is needed to get the attention of those cagers who need more incentive to pay sufficient attention while driving so as to minimize the risk to cyclists and pedestrians.
 

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Very sad I feel bad for his family.

The fight that is about to happen in the USA will be like the one that happened almost a hundred years ago, but this time in reverse. When cars first started killing people there was a huge public out-cry, and the fight when on for about a decade. People used to use roads like we use parks today, as long as you were not blocking the road, you could walk or ride a horse, and kids were safe.

One thing I will never understand is why we have speed limits below 50mph (in most cities), yet we can buy cars and trucks that can go 150mph? Do most of us need all that power?

MTT
 

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No Crybabies
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power the problem?

MTT said:
One thing I will never understand is why we have speed limits below 50mph (in most cities), yet we can buy cars and trucks that can go 150mph? Do most of us need all that power?

MTT
I don't think I've ever heard of a cycling death that was the result of the motor vehicle having too much power or speed potential. Most of the ones I have heard about happen under 50 mph. The problem is the driver, not the vehicle.
 

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exactly

reaching down for their coffee/burger
grabbing something out of the back
yes, their should be harsher penalties, people don't take driving serious enough
 

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True, for cycling--- but 40-some thousand people are killed by cars in the US annually--- most at higher than posted speeds. Of course. most people find the risk acceptable. I don't get it. There are all sorts of "invasive" technologies that could reduce this number, but they cost money, and are, well, invasive. Also, imagine the fuel efficiency of a vehicle with 60 hp, for example (not that I would line up to buy one).


Fixed said:
I don't think I've ever heard of a cycling death that was the result of the motor vehicle having too much power or speed potential. Most of the ones I have heard about happen under 50 mph. The problem is the driver, not the vehicle.
 

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I think the problem is a false sense of security most vehicles inspire. They really do drive well and you just don't have that feeling you may be over the limit/capability until it's too late. Just the time it takes to see something when traveling at 60mph and then to physically move your foot when reacting is vastly underestimated. This leads to people following too closely with the inevitable collisions and other catastrophes that results in.

My dad pulled up to a T intersection quite a few years ago and there was black ice at the sign and all through the junction of the cross street. He was going less than 10 mph but slid right into the opposite curb ruining the wheel and cv joint/front axel of a VW Rabbit. 10 mph isn't fast until you're out of control. Then it's extremely fast and you get that terrible feeling in your stomach.

The real danger comes in because so few are aware of their physical limitations. Add distractions such as eating or the telephone and you have a deadly combination.
 
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