Even when pedestrians have the right of way, that doesn't mean they are always safe.
A bicyclist recently fatally injured a pedestrian in San Francisco who was using a crosswalk to cross a street. The cyclist claimed he did not break any laws and was too committed to stop or slow down. Both the rider and victim were hospitalized. The bicyclist was treated and released. The victim died four days later.
The rider posted his version of what happened leading up to and during the fatal collision online. He said the stoplight turned red as he rode through the intersection and, almost instantly, the oncoming crosswalk filled with pedestrians. The cyclist claimed in the post he couldn't see through the line of people and was unable to stop, so he plowed through the least congested area he could find.
Video surveillance of the accident reveals a somewhat different tale. A law enforcement source who watched the footage reports that the cyclist, at no point, shows any sign of slowing down. The video shows the rider squarely colliding with the victim. The source says there appeared to only be a few pedestrians in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.
The film could not determine whether the rider, who is cooperating fully with the investigation, blew through the red light. Nevertheless, the fatality highlights the importance of obeying traffic safety and driving motorized and non-motorized vehicles defensively. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition hosted a safety outreach gathering to remind cyclists about riding safely.
When accidents involving pedestrians and bikes occur, injuries can be serious. An experienced personal injury advocate can help the injured party navigate the process and work towards compensation.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Video of fatal S.F. crash may contradict bicyclist," Phillip Matier, April 11, 2012
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