Friday, May 20, 2011

Bicyclist Involved In Collision Says He's Eager To Get Back On Bike

Here's an interesting end to Bike to Work Week: I've been talking with the bicyclist who was hit by a vehicle earlier this week. 'Brice' made a comment on the blog yesterday and when I asked him to tell us what happened, he said he wasn't feeling up to getting beat up in a blog forum (I hope you'd all be respectful) so I've been emailing back and forth with him instead.

His post yesterday said he is glad to see a blog where people didn't automatically blame the bicyclist, although Brice was ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Here's what happened, according to both Brice and the police report diagram: Brice was heading south on Post on his bicycle. A pedestrian was crossing Post at the intersection with Cora. There was a vehicle stopped at the stop sign on Cora headed west. Brice didn't see the pedestrian and continued through the intersection. The vehicle apparently thought Brice was going to yield to the pedestrian and proceeded through the intersection. Brice couldn't stop in time and hit the car.

I wasn't there or anything, but it seems to me the car should've waited at the stop sign until he saw for sure what the bicyclist was going to do.

Brice says he's pretty banged up but thankful he's not dead. Although he goes back and forth at being grateful and upset about what happened and how it played out. He says a witness at the scene said he was thrown about 30 feet, and had someone had a video camera 'he'd of had a million hits on YouTube already.'

As soon as paramedics showed up, Brice was loaded onto an imoblization board and into an ambulance. He never gave a statement but a police officer came into the ambulance and issued him a ticket. I'm not sure what standard procedure is in cases like this. I've been in injury accidents in a vehicle before and both times the police either came to the hospital or to my home to talk to me about it, but didn't do it at the scene.

The good news is that Brice is still eager to ride. He is a 25+ year avid cyclist and his only concern is that he will try to ride before he's healed enough. The bad news (besides the injury and traffic ticket) is that before the accident, Brice was on his way to buy a last minute 25th anniversay gift for his wife. Obviously he never got it. But he's alive, so that's a big gift to his wife. Get better Brice, we're glad another 'ghost bike' didn't show up in this case.


Rachel said...

Props to SRTC for posting about this.
Maybe. Brice was rightly ticketed for the pedestrian, but I'm outraged the SPD once again showed favor to the motorist by not also issuing them a ticket for failing to yield to the vehicle with the right of way. Let's cite the guy who didn't hit the person he failed to yield to and NOT cite the guy who did injure the person he failed to yield to? How exactly does that make any sense?
I hope something is done about this.

I'm also amazed and glad that Brice wasn't injured more coming down that steep hill.

Scott said...

According to the press release, a pedestrian was in the middle of the intersection while crossing. Brice didn't see any pedestrians. I can't base a conclusion off of a police report that doesn't mention why the cyclist was cited and nothing about the motorist being cited (maybe the motorist was cited... definitely should have been). Does the police report state the name of the pedestrian (being the victim of the failure to yeild)? I'm under the assumption that the police officer was not a witness, so there has to be proof that there was a pedestrian IN the street as claimed, and that they didn't enter the street illegally when it was to late for the vehicle (in this case the cyclist) to yield.

RCW 46.61.235

(1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section "half of the roadway" means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.

(2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

SRTC Staff said...

Thanks for the comments @Rachel and @Scott. To answer your question Scott, there WAS a witness at the scene, who even talked to Brice when he regained conciousness, but his name was blacked out in the police report that I saw. Brice said the man talked to him about how far in the air he flew after being hit by the car, but never mentioned anything about who was at fault, which is why he was very surprised when he was issued a ticket. Thanks for the RCW info.

Brice has said that he's not going to let this drop. He had an appointment with the police ombudsman to discuss it last week. Again, it's easy for me to armchair quarterback when I wasn't there, so it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.