The Chainlink

Question: When is the right time to stop for a cyclist who has the right of way?

Answer: Before you hit her and drag her 20 feet under your giant SUV.

http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20121108/NEWS01/121109595/0/FR...


The good news is, she's recovering.

http://durangoherald.com/article/20121109/NEWS01/121109511/-1/News0...

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Oh man, my office used to be in Bodo Park when I lived in Durango. Ska Brewing is back there, too. Durango has so many runners and cyclists (and deer) that I have trouble imagining a driver not noticing her.

Just awful, but glad she's improving.

I think it is pretty alarming that she was run over by both wheels of the car that hit her; that indicates that not only did the driver not see her but she had a serious lag in any kind of response to having hit the victim.

And the leading photo is the driver being comforted. Clearly the paper's priority is in the right place.

Although I am sure any normal human being would be distraught, my reaction exactly.

Ash L. said:

And the leading photo is the driver being comforted. Clearly the paper's priority is in the right place.

The first article mentions that the cyclist was thrown onto the hood of the truck before having her pelvis crushed (!) by both sets of wheels. Doubly alarming. Anyone who somehow ignored the body on their windshield to drive on and cause more damage is horribly unfit to drive such a large and dangerous vehicle. My heart breaks for this cyclist. What an inspiration, too, riding from New Mexico to Florida at age 50! 

notoriousDUG said:

I think it is pretty alarming that she was run over by both wheels of the car that hit her; that indicates that not only did the driver not see her but she had a serious lag in any kind of response to having hit the victim.

Thrown onto the hood, run over by both drivers side wheels, and dragged 20 feet.  How does that happen?!

Automatic transmission, for one.

Gross negligence.

agreed. That person I'm sure is going through hell and will be for the rest of her life.

Lisa Curcio said:

Although I am sure any normal human being would be distraught, my reaction exactly.

Ash L. said:

And the leading photo is the driver being comforted. Clearly the paper's priority is in the right place.

What would that have to do with anything?

It has nothing to do with the car; this is purely somebody not paying attention.

Tricolor said:

Automatic transmission, for one.

Exactly.  I find it difficult to have any sympathy for the driver under these circumstances.  I hope the cyclist is able to eventually regain some reasonable quality of life.  That's likely to take a very long time.  After having her pelvis shattered, I wonder if she'll ever be able to ride again.

Dovah Cat said:

The first article mentions that the cyclist was thrown onto the hood of the truck before having her pelvis crushed (!) by both sets of wheels. Doubly alarming. Anyone who somehow ignored the body on their windshield to drive on and cause more damage is horribly unfit to drive such a large and dangerous vehicle.

notoriousDUG said:

I think it is pretty alarming that she was run over by both wheels of the car that hit her; that indicates that not only did the driver not see her but she had a serious lag in any kind of response to having hit the victim.

As with all of these articles, we can't know exactly what occurred and whether the cyclist was to blame in any way. I'm certainly not saying this is the case here, but since the SUV was turning across traffic into a parking lot, a lot of people will do that at a very quick speed to avoid being held up by rapidly approaching oncoming traffic. There was a video over on Bikeforums I think in the commuter forum. Anyway that thread was about bike cam usage and a guy posted a video where he got creamed by a guy in an SUV turning into a parking lot. The kicker is the cyclist was riding in the bike lane past stopped cars towards the gap that other drivers had left going into the parking lot. Sure the SUV driver should have been more aware so that he would see the approaching cyclist, but at the same time, the cyclist should have been doubly aware that he was approaching a gap where there could be vehicles turning across his path. We don't know all the facts in this case and of course I wish the cyclist a full recovery. We have to be careful to not always demonize the driver of a car in an collision with a cyclist. It's not always only the driver's fault. I'm not trying to play devil's advocate here, I'm just saying we all get worked up when a news article makes mention of a cyclist as not wearing a helmet as if somehow they were thus, asking to be hit. Let's try to apply the same even-handedness when reading these articles.

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