Sunday, May 17, 2009

This week's Bicycle Headlines: Lawsuits, Accidents and Fatalities

Woman taken to hospital after bicycle accident in Palmer
by The Republican Newsroom
Saturday May 16, 2009, 1:04 PM

PALMER, MA - Palmer police are investigating a bicycle accident in which a 50-year-old woman's leg was impaled on part of her handlebars. Diane M. Pikul of the Three Rivers section fell off her bicycle on Sykes Street (Route 181) by Palmer Road on Friday about 6:30 p.m. Sgt. Christopher J. Burns said the brake lever attached to the handlebars impaled Pikul's right thigh. Detective Sgt. Scott E. Haley said fire officials were called to cut the handlebars from the bicycle so the woman could be taken to the hospital. Pikul was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, he said. Burns said Pikul was traveling south on her Cannondale mountain bike when she lost control as she tried to cross over the railroad tracks. Railroad tracks cross that section of Route 181, making the road uneven. Haley said this is not the first accident involving a bicyclist in that spot and signs recently have been put up warning bicyclists to be careful. Burns said Pikul was wearing a helmet.

Victim of cycling accident identified
KONP Local News
May 16th, 2009 - 1:46am

Quilcene, WA - The State Patrol has identified the victim of the fatal car - bicycle accident near Quilcene Thursday morning. 51-year old James M. Miller died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Troopers say Miller was riding his bicycle northbound on Highway 101 about 8 miles north of Quilcene just after 11 a.m. Reports say a northbound red 1998 Ford Mustang driven by 47-year old Mark Owens of Quilcene had slowed down in order to pass the bicyclist. Officials say Miller veered his bike into the path of the car, causing the collision. Authorities believe possible inattention by Miller was the cause of the crash. Troopers say Owens was cited for Driving While License Suspended.

Bicyclist killed in northeast Portland
Associated Press - May 15, 2009 1:15 AM ET

PORTLAND, OR (AP) - Portland Police say a 36-year-old man died when his bicycle collided with a vehicle late Thursday afternoon in northeast Portland. Detective Mary Wheat says it appears the driver had the right of way, but the investigation is continuing. The bicyclist's name has not been released, but a neighbor told The Oregonian he was a single parent raising a young son. The bicycle fatality is the Portland's second this year.

Aspen bicycle accident triggers suit against Ritz-Carlton
Aspen Times
May 15, 2009

ASPEN, CO — An Aspen youth filed a complaint in Pitkin County District Court against Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. seeking more than $100,000 in damages that stem from an accident last summer. Peter Wampler said he was injured in the July 28 incident that occurred at South Mill and Puppy Smith streets. The complaint says Wampler was riding a bicycle when he was involved in an accident with a vehicle driven by Vedran Nozica. Nozica was an employee of Ritz-Carlton at the time. Wampler was 13 years old when the accident happened. “The accident and resulting injuries, damages and losses to the plaintiff were caused by negligence of the defendant’s employee, for which defendant is vicariously liable,” the complaint says. The complaint was filed Wednesday. He is seeking a monetary judgment for more than $100,000. That figure includes attorney fees, penalties or punitive damages. Wampler has also demanded a jury trial, court documents say. He is the son of Michael Wampler, an Aspen bike-shop owner.

Cortez girl dies when bicycle collides with vehicle
by Steve Grazier
The Cortez Journal Article via Durango Herald News
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GRAND JUNCTION, CO - One of two Cortez girls struck by a car while crossing a downtown intersection on a bicycle died Monday evening. Sherae House, 10, died from serious head injuries after a collision at Third and Chestnut streets Sunday afternoon. She was airlifted by helicopter to St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction for treatment Sunday night and died there Monday evening, said Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane. "It's a real sad thing for the family and for the lady driving the car," said Lane, who added he received a call from family members of House about 8:30 p.m. Monday. The two girls failed to stop when approaching a stop sign at the city intersection, Lane said. The driver of the blue, 2001 Ford Focus was heading west on Third Street about 6:19 p.m. Sunday when the accident occurred. She was not issued a citation by police. The 8-year-old girl involved in the accident, Raven Roy, had some broken bones and was being treated at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, Lane said. The girls were on the bike together and headed into the path of the vehicle. Both girls were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident, Lane said. Cortez municipal law does not require bike riders to wear helmets, but the chief said law-enforcement officials strongly suggest helmet usage. "It's always a good practice," Lane said. "We always recommend a helmet for biking or motorcycles."

Cyclist dies after hitting auto
By T&D Staff Monday, May 11, 2009

SC - A 53-year-old Orangeburg man died Saturday morning after his crashing his bicycle into an oncoming car, according to Lance Cpl. Scot Edgeworth of the S.C. Highway Patrol. A 1996 four-door Mercury sedan driven by Orangeburg resident Marion Still, Jr., 56, was traveling south on U.S. Highway 301 in the left lane. In the right lane, the bicyclist was going in the same direction. Edgeworth said the bicyclist attempted to make a left turn crossing both lanes when the car struck him, resulting in his death. The incident occurred about a mile south of Orangeburg at 11 a.m. Saturday. Still was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt. No other passengers were in the vehicle with him, according to Edgeworth.