On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
A Boulder County man made it clear that he strongly disliked sharing Colorado roads with bicyclists. The 69-year-old Lyons resident wrote down his feelings in a letter addressed to public officials, who were considering traffic improvements to promote cycling in the town. The letter referred to cyclists as “gangs” of “uncourteous” lawbreakers.
The elderly driver is in the Boulder jail facing charges for hitting and killing a Lyons cyclist in a motor vehicle accident. Police said the negligent driver was intoxicated and traveling the wrong way along the town’s main street when he struck the bike rider.
The 46-year-old victim died at the accident scene. The suspect was jailed on charges of DUI, careless driving causing death and vehicular homicide.
Several Colorado cyclists attended the suspect’s first court appearance to support the victim and other bicyclists’ rights to use the roads. The group told members of the press about the driver’s previously-stated “animosity” toward cyclists. The suspect had written that bicyclists “don’t belong in Lyons.”
State and local laws are designed to protect pedestrians and street-legal vehicles, including cyclists and bicycles. Car and truck drivers often treat bicycles as invisible members of the traffic community. The conscious or unconscious dismissal of cyclists’ rights is negligence that leads to preventable injuries and deaths.
Drivers who fail to check rear-view mirrors or pull into intersections in front of bicyclists create risks of harm for someone else. Car drivers usually aren’t seriously injured in auto-bicycle crashes. The victims are almost always vulnerable cyclists who lack the protection that larger vehicles provide.
Drivers involved in bicycle crashes that end with catastrophic injuries or deaths are not always prosecuted in criminal courts. Collisions may be interpreted by law enforcers as unpunishable accidents. A civil court takes a different view.
Settlements and jury awards are attainable compensation for victims of driver negligence in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Source: denver.cbslocal.com, “Crash Victim Represented In Suspect’s Court Appearance By Fellow Cyclists” No Author Given, May. 16, 2013