Cyclists have the same right to fair and equitable treatment by the government as other road users. The basis for these rights is expressed through the six Es approach that the League supports: Equality, Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement and Evaluation.
June 9, 2009: Angela "Christa" Voss, 33, of Owasso, Okla. and Matthew Edmonds, 34, of Tulsa. Okla., struck and killed by a drunk driver. The third cyclist John Moore, 40, of Broken Arrow. Okla. survived
June 2, 2009: Pike County Common Pleas Judge Randy Deering sentenced Sara Bender to 60 days in jail for leaving the scene of the accident that killed William Crowley while he pedaled north during the Tour of the Scioto River Valley.
April 19, 2009: Daniel Hersh of 54 years, experienced cyclist, Virginia Beach, Va., struck and killed by a Ford Explorer traveling the same direction
March 10, 2009: Allen Dixon Johnson of 26 years, off duty police officer, Tucson, Ariz., cycling in bike lane and struck and killed by a pickup from behind
August 2008: E.J. Juarez, 30, and Jayson Kilroy, 28. Colorado Springs citizens, killed by a pickup truck's driver who was under the influence of morphine and barbiturates
March 2007: Charles Edward Williamson of 70 years. Colorado Spings men, killed while cycling by a driver on his cell phone
Angela "Christa" Voss of Owasso, Okla., Matthew Edmond, of Tulsa., Okla. and John Moore of Broken Arrow. Okla
The three bicyclists were hit from behind on the shoulder of Oklahoma 51 near 165th West Avenue, a few miles
west of Sand Springs, Okla.
State troopers said Borland's sport utility vehicle swerved out of her lane and onto the shoulder, striking the three.
Troopers said Borland did not stop immediately but continued driving east for another quarter of a mile.
What’s the Issue:
According to reports in the Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, and the Sand Springs Leader, both witnesses and OHP Troopers noted "a strong smell of alcohol." An open container was found in her vehicle.
Tulsa County District Court records show that Borland pleaded guilty to a driving-while-impaired charge in 2007. She was handed a six-month jail term, which was suspended, the records show.
The driver, Tausha Borland of Sand Springs, was charged with two counts of manslaughter and released on $100,000 bond.
Oklahoma driving law requires that the driving privilege be revoked (withdrawn) for six months to three years for a conviction of driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. Borland pled guilty to driving while impaired, a lesser charge; and therefore, her license isn't automatically revoked. Visit Oklahoma Bicycling Coaltion to advocate for Oklahoma cyclists.
William Crowley - Pike County, Ohio
William Crowley was riding along U.S. 23 near Piketon on May 11, 2008, and he was traveling north in the right lane at around 7:50 a.m. when his bicycle was struck from behind by a 2005 GMC Envoy, driven by Sarah Bender. She then reportedly left the scene but returned and told the investigating officer she thought she had struck a sign. Read article.
What’s the Issue:
A judge in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas sentenced a Scioto County woman to 60 days in jail Monday after she was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident that killed a man in 2008.
Bender was found guilty on May 6 for failure to stop after an accident, but the jury ruled that they “do not find that the violation resulted in death to a person.” With this special finding, the verdict was reduced from a felony to a first-degree misdemeanor.
If the original third-degree felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident had prevailed, it could have resulted in one to five years in prison. Under the reduced misdemeanor charge, Bender could have received up to six months in jail.
The judge also fined Bender $1,000 and suspended her driver's license for two years. Bender is to report to the Ross County jail, where Pike County sends its convicted offenders, on June 26 to begin serving her sentence. She could have received a maximum of six months in jail for the misdemeanor offense.
Visit the Ohio Bicycle Federation to learn how you can take action and to learn more about Ohio's traffic laws.
Daniel Hersh - Virginia beach, Va.
Hersh, an experienced cyclist, an ex-SEAL and civil engineer. who his family said had been riding since he was a teenager, was traveling east on Shore Drive early April 19 when he was struck and killed by a Ford Explorer traveling the same direction, police said. Read article.
What’s the Issue:
No charges could be brought against the driver that killed Hersh. Both reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter charges require willful intent.
If a driver in Virginia passes a blood-alcohol test and there was no sign she was distracted (cell phone, etc.), a driver will not be charged if they claim to have not seen the person who they hit. That is why in a case like this where there is no proof of distracted driving it becomes vital to have either an eyewitness or have some sort of proof that the driver saw the person that they hit. Event the three foot rule is disregarded if the driver doesn't see the cyclist.
In this case there was only one witness and their statement actually corroborated the driver's statement that she didn't see Dan. She said that she didn't see him and didn't even know she had hit anyone until she saw him on the ground.
Daniel Hersh was the second bicyclist to be killed on a Virginia Beach roadway in a year. In May, Kenneth Craver was struck and killed on Witchduck Road. In that case, the driver wasn't charged, because investigators determined Craver veered into the vehicle's path, Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant said.
The Virginia Bicycling Federation created a bicycling education fund in remembrance of Daniel Wayne Hersh. Gregory and Stephen Hersh, the sons of the late Dan Hersh, have designated the VBF as the recipient of memorial donations honoring their late father. VBF will dedicate these funds for bicycling education initiatives within Virginia–targeting motorists, law enforcement personnel and/or bicyclists–with the goal of decreasing the incidence of future bicycling tragedies within the state.
Contributions to the Hersh Memorial Fund can be mailed to the Virginia Bicycling Federation at P.O. Box 5621, Arlington VA 22205-5621. Donors need to note Hersh Memorial on their check.
Allen Dixon Johnson - Tucson, Ariz.
An off-duty Tucson police officer was killed as he was hit from behind by a motorist who drove into the bicycle lane.
The investigation shows a pickup truck either drifted or veered into the bike lane and hit Johnson. Read article.
What’s the Issue:
Arizona is one of three states that do not have a vehicular homicide law.
The driver who killed Johnson will only face a maximum civil fine of $1,000.
Arizona law says you have to give a cyclist three feet of space whenever you pass them. It doesn’t mention anything about being drunk or on drugs. The county is still waiting on the driver's blood tests.
The Tucson Police Foundation has set up a memorial fund for Johnson. Checks can be made to the foundation and dropped off at any Tucson police substation or Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union location.
E.J. Juarez and Jayson Kilroy- Colorado Springs, Colo.
64-year-old Barbara Thomas drove her one-ton pickup truck into a group of five bicyclists on Aug. 6, 2008, killing E.J. Juarez and Jayson Kilroy. At the time, she was driving under the influence of prescription morphine and barbiturates and without her required glasses.
What’s the Issue:
Thomas struck and killed the men at S. 26th Street, minutes after leaving the West Colorado Avenue Safeway. Police said she had been shoplifting and banged into a man's car in the parking lot before driving off. The man followed her and saw her hit the bicyclists as she tried to turn left onto Westend Avenue -- without yielding to oncoming traffic -- in her 1986 Ford F-350. Police found her speech slurred and her eyes bloodshot, according to an arrest affidavit.
The court summarized her history: four convictions of shoplifting dating back to 1983, drinking in a vehicle, careless driving and minor traffic infractions. She had no prior history of driving under the influence, according to court documents. But she had an outstanding summons for a hit-and-run two months before the collision.
4th Judicial District Judge Gilbert A. Martinez said her crime was reckless and caused the most serious harm: the deaths of bicyclists Kilroy, 28, and Juarez, 30. Her sentence is three years shy of the maximum six years under a plea bargain.
Read article in The Gazette.
Charles edward williamson - Berkley, w. va.
A judge has dismissed a negligent homicide charge against
Mount View High School football coach Leon Steven Gravely in the death of 70-year-old bicyclist Charles Edward Williamson.
According to the police report, Gravely’s 2007 Nissan Pathfinder was traveling between 87 and 99 miles per hour. Williamson was lawfully riding his bicycle along the shoulder of the highway. There were no witnesses to the accident, but Gravely told police Williamson’s bicycle drifted in front of him and he could not avoid a collision.
There were no witnesses to the accident, but Gravely told police Williamson’s bicycle drifted in front of him and he could not avoid a collision.
What’s the Issue:
Prosecutors contended that Gravely was talking on his cell phone and was
distracted when his vehicle hit Charles Edward Williamson on the Coalfields
Expressway in 2007.
The state had not been able to produce phone records that would prove it as fact and that belief was sheer speculation.
The judge said the key point in the dismissal was from a decision from the late Justice Joseph P. Albrightthat. The ruling stated a negligent homicide conviction requires more than negligence.
Raleigh Circuit Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick dismissed the charge last week.
Citing a state Supreme Court ruling, Kirkpatrick said driver
inattentiveness alone doesn't prove reckless disregard, which is required
for a conviction.
The negligent homicide charge against the driver was dismissed April 23, 2009 by Raleigh County Circuit Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick based on a Supreme Court ruling from the late Justice Joseph P. Albright. Gravely still faces charges of reckless driving, failure to maintain control and speeding, all misdemeanors.
Read article in the Register-Herald and email the reporter.