Deadly Triathlon Accident results in jury verdict

A woman has won a lawsuit against the town of Blacksburg over a deadly triathlon accident back in 2000. Gary Wayne Taylor died when his bicycle hit a car at an unpatrolled intersection. The driver of the car, Sharon Knight, sued the town of Blacksburg and the race director. A fortnight ago, a Montgomery County, Virginia jury found her in favor, awarding her $350,000. Sharon Knight sued the City of Blacksburg on a governmental tort claim theory claiming that the director of the third annual Greater Blacksburg Triathlon negligently failed to warn passing motorists of the race course with the result that one of the participant cyclist who was participating in the triathlon ran into her car and was killed. Sharon Knight had sued the town and the director of the third annual Greater Blacksburg Triathlon, in the Circuit Court, Montgomery County, Virginia, claiming they were negligent in failing to warn passing motorists of the race course.

The victim’s family also won a similar lawsuit against the town. Triathlon participant Gary Taylor died midway through the June 18, 2000, competition after his bicycle crashed into Knight’s car. Knight has said that she saw Taylor run a stop sign before the collision. Attorneys for the town have said competitors were told before the race to follow all traffic signs and laws. In 2002, a jury found that the race director and the town were negligent in organizing the race and awarded $500,000 in damages to Taylor’s family. Triathlon Trial Lawyer Doug Landau notes that such catastrophic injuries are exceedingly rare in the sport of triathlon. For other triathlon and multisport related cases, please visit The Athletes Lawyer site.
(“Jury awards $350k in triathlon negligence lawsuit,” By the Associated Press, 2/10/08)

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