A neighbor of mine died today. He was hit head on while driving his pickup by another vehicle that lost control on a patch of ice. He was a good man, active in the community and a 4H leader. He was my kids’ first 4H leader, starting them off on many years of blue ribbons and championships. He pointed many kids on the right path to becoming valuable community members. The community and I will miss Brian Herinckx.
The accident happened very near where a member of Portland Velo, Tim O'Donnell , was killed while cycling earlier this year. It got me to thinking of just how fragile life is, and the inequities of the application of law when it comes to cyclist accidents. Within the last year or so there have been several bike/car collisions. Darrel and Sheryl McDaniel were cycling their way home from a lap of Hagg Lake when they were killed by a car, that while attempting to pass another car on the right, entered the paved shoulder and ran over them. The driver was cited for illegal lane use. Period. Tracy Sparling and Brett Jarolimek were both killed by drivers who “right hooked” them as they were riding in bike lanes. Neither driver was cited for any violation, though they both obviously failed to yield to a bicycle in a bicycle lane.
(violaton of ORS 811.050)UPDATE: Driver in Sparling collision cited.
Sixteen months ago a woman ran a stop sign and collided with me on my bike. I incurred $26,000 in medical bills plus damage to my bike, plus loss of wages, and finally paid a lawyer to get the insurance company to do what they should have done right from the start. What happened to the driver? She was cited for "failure to obey a traffic control device". Yup, I'm sure that will make her think twice next time.
Today I read in the paper that a driver who ran a red light while distracted with happenings in her car and t-boned another vehicle killing the driver was sentenced to 30 months in prison on a charge of vehicular homicide.
Why aren’t those drivers who drove over cyclists being equally charged and convicted?
Lives can change in a blink of an eye.
Life is indeed fragile, ride legal, ride safe, ride defensively………but ride!
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles YTD