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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645

    Horsey Hundred rider killed :(

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    http://www.kentucky.com/2015/05/25/3...up-holder.html

    Horrific behavior by the drunk driver. What really jumps out at me though is that the driver is charged with murder.

    I do wonder with a great deal of discomfort whether the prosecutor would've exercised that discretion had the driver not been an apparently undocumented immigrant. Still, in Ohio, the worst he could possibly have been charged with would've been a third degree felony. The Kentucky statute includes in its definition of murder, wanton conduct that creates a grave risk of death. There's language that specifically includes driving a motor vehicle.

    I am so tired of this carnage being brushed off as "just accidents," with an extra little tsk-tsk when the driver was doing something before the wreck, that most people agree they shouldn't have. Kudos to Kentucky for taking this step. It's still a high standard and a very long way from what I think the law should be - i.e., making vehicular homicide a strict liability offense like every single other vehicle operation offense - but it's a big improvement over states like Ohio where even if prosecutors and courts wanted to, the highest penalty for the killing is the same as the highest penalty for drunk driving when no one was harmed.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    Wow. I rode in the Horsey Hundred and didn't even realize exactly what had happened, except it was pretty clear that it was an auto/biker collision. I finished afterwards (it was just a mile or so from the end) and saw the bike - I've never seen such a smashed up bike. In fact, when I saw it, I had to do a double take to tell that it was a bike. Deputies were there, blocking off and protecting the "scene."

    Good for that prosecutor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Nauseating and infuriating. I am completely disgusted with people. Kudos to this prosecutor, though.

    In my state, if you do what the person who murdered my friend did, you can get a lighter sentence by hitting and running if you are drunk/high. Said person had 3 pending DWI's and no license. He killed my friend and ran. He turned himself in the next day, claiming he was just scared and that he hadn't been drinking. His sentence was less than if he had stayed at the scene and had blown over the legal limit. We'll never know, but it definitely creates a perverse incentive structure. My friend hasn't quite been gone 2 years, and he has been out of jail for more than 6 months.

    There were 4 cyclists hit in my area (that I know of) over the long weekend. One fatality (an immigrant who rode for transportation) - a hit and run (responsible person has not been caught). The other three were all reported on the bike ped list serve - no media coverage (even though one was a serious injury and the driver was reported to be swerving all over the road). No details on the other two. Not holding out a lot of hope on the hit and run - there were two cyclists killed a while (2 years?) ago in a hit and run and the responsible person was never found.

    I don't know what can or should be done - but this is beyond infuriating and upsetting. I don't know how you reform the legal system to address this when most people say (with varying degrees of truth) that you can't live without a license. It's not fair to not have one because you can't make a living. It's too harsh a penalty. The perpetrators have a right to drive and earn a living. I don't agree with it - but it's hard to rebut in rural areas with zero public transit. On the other hand - not having such a harsh penalty is pretty easy - don't do something stupid while driving a car and kill someone. Grrrrr.....
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    I have no idea how to solve this, as I am no legal expert. All I know, is that I am doing more riding out in areas where there are less cars, I ride with both front and back flashers all of the time, and I just try to stay vigilant.
    The woman who turned left in front of my DH almost a year ago is playing games through her insurance company. They were about to settle, when the agent left and the new one is not returning DH's lawyer's calls. Looks like we are going to court. She didn't even file this with her company, because "there was no damage." Yeah, except for DH's collarbone and hip. He's totally fine, but he really wants to make a point for cyclists.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    She didn't even file this with her company, because "there was no damage." Yeah, except for DH's collarbone and hip. He's totally fine, but he really wants to make a point for cyclists.
    THAT is infuriating. That to some drivers "there is no damage" because she didn't hit another car and another car isn't all cracked up. I think hitting someone OUTSIDE the protection of the car should wake her up and scare her that she was so inattentive, but apparently that didn't work.

    I agree with Blueberry - it is ridiculous how people are "entitled to drive" and how many chances they get after DUI/OWIs, etc. In Europe it is pretty strict liability. A car can cause a LOT of damage. I know we don't have a lot of public transportation, but so what. We have bikes, mopeds, walking, etc.

    A lot of how this is handled is under "prosecutorial discretion," so when these things happen we just have to let the prosecutors know how important this is to the biking community. Frustrating and infuriating!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Without going into the whole story, her car didn't actually hit DH, but he slammed his brakes so hard, he did an endo in the middle of an intersection at rush hour. Hence, the broken clavicle. His bike was affected, but it would not have been noticeable to a non-rider (shifter, brake lever). Luckily, she said some really dumb things to the cop, who wrote them in the report, even though it's not part of the protocol. She also left the scene, but came back, after several witnesses went after her. The policeman told DH he would gladly testify, if supoened (his boss told him not to do anything!). He's not doing this for the $, as most of what we get will have to be used to reimburse Blue Cross for the medical bills. We will make sure this gets in the local papers, too.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Oh my Crankin, I hope some kind of resolution is reached on this soon. Yes, the entitlement issue is huge in this country and underlies a lot of crashes like this.

 

 

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