Update on Rush case, Segal takes the stand, and ride with George Hincapie on New Years Eve

Just a few quick notes on a cold L.A. day.

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First up, cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels offers an update on yesterday’s preliminary hearing for Dominique and Steven Rush, the daughter and father team accused of first killing 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero (daughter), then covering it up (both).

Today’s hearing was very brief.  A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 17, 2012 in Dept. 122 Van Nuys Courthouse.  Steven Rush appeared well dressed in a gray suit and sat behind his daughter who was brought out from the holding cells.  Date was selected as a “go date” meaning that barring any unforeseen circumstances or unavailability of key prosecution witnesses, the preliminary hearing will go forward.  German Alex Romero’s family all sat together in the courtroom and listened.

Wheels also notes that he has a good feeling about the prosecutor. So maybe we’ll actually see the sort of justice Alex and his family deserve for a change.

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Next, I received an anonymous report on Tuesday’s hearing for Stephanie Segal, the driver charged in last year’s drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing.

The hearing began with a heated discussion between defense counsel and the judge, who continued to hold fast to his previous insistence on a minimum of 9 years in state prison. According to this source, the word “egregious” was used by the judge several times, making it clear that he was in no mood to be lenient.

The defense attorney responded by calling the primary witnesses in the case, including a driver who followed Segal as she weaved her way from the murder scene. Bizarrely, Segal herself insisted on testifying, against the advice of both her own attorney and the judge, who warned that anything she said would be admissible at the trial and would be considered by the jury.

After hearing a description of her contradictory testimony, it’s starting to sound — to me, at least — like nine years in state prison would actually be a lenient sentence compared to what she might end up with in a jury trial.

We should find out soon, as the judge set a date of December 21st — next Wednesday — for Segal to either take the deal or set a date to go to trial.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Segal still refuses to take responsibility for her actions in killing an innocent cyclist while allegedly weaving drunkenly down the road. And may just be foolish and arrogant enough to fight what appears to be an open and shut case.

I almost hope she does, just so she’ll end up with an even stiffer sentence than the judge is offering.

But for the sake of Laing’s family, we’ll hope she sobers up comes to her senses and accepts a plea next week so they can put this ugly, tragic event behind the before the holidays.

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If you’re looking for something fun to do the morning of New Years Eve, you couldn’t do much better than riding with BMC cyclist and five-time Olympian George Hincapie.

And if you’re looking for one last chance to benefit a couple of good causes before the year ends, the answer would be the same.

Hincapie is the celebrity host of A Ride for Life, a Santa Clarita ride benefitting Children’s Hospital L.A. and the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita. The event will feature rides of 30, 60 and 100 miles, as well as a kid’s ride and family walk; there will also be a “huge” expo with food and activities, and everyone is welcome — even your four-legged friends.

Personally, I’m still trying to find a tandem with an extra-low back end so the Corgi could ride stoker.

But you have to register today to receive a free event technical shirt.

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I can’t resist sharing this seasonal tweet from the late, great Yahuda Moon.

What kind of bike would Jesus ride? The beard and sandals makes you think recumbent, but I think the obvious choice would be a cross bike.

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Hollywood belatedly discovers the tragic cycling death of writer/producer Carol Schreder, as industry paper Variety breaks the news. But still not one word from the major mainstream press.

Possible road diets move forward in Silver Lake, but hit the brakes in Glendale as officials worry about the effect on traffic. Here’s a hint — providing a viable alternative to driving could actually reduce congestion. Meanwhile, The Atlantic Cities looks at L.A.’s green bikeway blues, but other than that, things are just peachy, while LADOT prepares to fill the gap on the Valley’s Chandler Blvd.

Ventura cyclists start an online petition calling on the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to increase funding for bike and pedestrian projects from 1.3% to 5% to 8%, noting that cyclists and peds make up 21% of all trips — and 25% of all fatalities. Don’t just read it, sign it already. Thanks to @bountybuy for the heads-up.

The Westside COG meets to discuss biking on the Westside, including a possible bike share and ensuring that bikeways that pass through multiple cities actually connect with one another. Beverly Hills bike advocate Mark Elliot deserves credit as a prime mover in getting them to look at the subject.

The Claremont Cyclist defines an epic ride, something we’ve all done at one time or another. And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

A Redlands bike thief is busted in a police sting.

Bike Bakersfield is hard at work on the new Kern County bike plan.

Finally,  Seattle driver denies being under the influence before hitting and killing a cyclist — just on a prescription drug to treat opiate addiction, two glasses of champagne, a vodka-based Jeremiah Weed Iced Tea, and a drink called an Adios Motherfucker, containing beer and five types of liquor.

Oh, and smoking a blunt.

But other than that, he was stone-cold sober.

No, really.

My would-be stoker discovers a fear of jolly fat men wearing gloves.

4 comments

  1. Opus the Poet says:

    Just a correction on that drunk driver in Washington state, he had TWO Adios Motherfuckers, not one. And with all the booze in his system he still only blew a .078%. That means either the breathalyzer was reading low or the guy weighs at least 300 pounds.

  2. carolyn laing says:

    Thankyou for following up on all these reports..Stephanie Segal made it worse for herself by testifying….She was contradicting herself. Also trying to blame my brother for kicking her car..He looked over his shoulder right before she hit him..He saw her coming at him. The only reason my brother would do that,is to spring himself off her car to save himself. Unfortunatly,it didnt work…:( If she decides on trial,I feel her sentence will be worse….Thankyou so much for your caring comments…

  3. I’m going to be in that search with you, for a tandem that fits a pooch, only mine will be for a small border collie mix, I hope. We’ll see what happens tomorrow…

    My thoughts go out to the Laing family and all the other families dealing with loss this holiday season.

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