Yesterday’s note “Cyclists need legal protection” struck a note with me, as I had heard about the fatal car crash which left an experienced cyclist dead, while the motorist who struck him down did not even know what she had hit. The HamptonRoads and Pilot newspapers’ website describes some possible responses and solutions, since the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office has investigated and declined to charge the Defendant motorist with homicide or manslaughter.
The Virginia Cycling Association and others met with the prosecutors office to discuss the case and were informed that the that the police reconstruction team found “a significant glare from the rising sun at the spot where she hit Dan” according to the fotobywes blogspot.
My comment to the site reads as follows:
As an avid cyclist, competitive triathlete, former prosecutor and lawyer who helps injured cyclists and other athletes, I understand the wilfullness & intent necessary to charge the Defendant with crimes commensurate with the taking of a life. But why not “Improper Driving” or “Failure to Pay Full Time and Attention” or other similar, lesser included offenses ? With no charges whatsoever, the Defendant’s official DMV record may not reflect this tragic accident, and driving blindly into the sun near where they live (and perhaps travel regularly) posts an unreasonable risk of harm to other cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, skate boarders, rollerbladers and others who may be out at that hour. Do motorists now get a “one free bite” as is the case when dogs attack cyclists, runners and pedestrians ? Doug Landau, ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., Herndon, VA (at the 20 mile marker for the W&OD Trail)