Despite being run down by a road raging driver just blocks from LAPD headquarters, the police were never notified that a cyclist was lying facedown in the street for upwards of 15 minutes Friday night.
Or if they were notified, they never responded.
And no police report was ever filed.
I spoke with a reporter from the L.A. Times Tuesday morning, who mentioned that he’d been calling the police all morning. And everyone he spoke with said this was the first they’d heard of the hit-and-run road rage collision that put Susanna Schick in the ICU with a concussion and multiple fractures.
At best, the call fell through the cracks on a holiday weekend. Maybe the paramedics were notified, and the call never got to the police. That’s scary enough.
Far worse is the possibility that any of us — cyclist, pedestrian or motorist — could be left lying in the street waiting for police who might never come.
Hopefully, Schick’s family managed to work their way through the police bureaucracy and get an investigation started today — giving a dangerous driver nearly three full days to cover his tracks.
We may all be a lot less safe on the streets than we thought.
Just received word that a police report was finally filed today. But without witnesses or video evidence, police are treating Schick’s injury as a solo fall, and ignoring — or at least downplaying — the allegations that there was another vehicle involved. Let alone that it was a case of a road rage assault and hit-and-run.
Evidently, we really are on our own out there.
And while they appear to be downplaying Schick’s allegations, I’m told that a cyclist was ticketed in the same area for riding without reflectors on his pedals, despite having both front and back lights.
Yes, it’s illegal.
But probably the most technical, BS violation they could write a rider up for, rather than focusing their efforts on keeping us safe from the drivers who want to run us down.
In light of the LAPD’s massive failure in the Schick case, this is just rubbing salt in the wound.
As for a medical update on her condition, word is that Schick’s doctors are trying to avoid surgery if possible. But she’s looking at a minimum of two months in the hospital or an assisted living facility before she gets back on her feet.
Her family also asks that friends refrain from visiting for the next few days so she can get her rest; too many visitors — and reporters — have worn her out.
The other burning question has been how her bike got back home; I’m told the paramedics dropped the bike off after delivering her to the ER.
And people continue to open their hearts and wallets, as 105 people have contributed $3700 to help defray her medical expenses as of 11 pm Monday.
There are days I’m really proud of my fellow cyclists.
Several news sources have picked up the story, including the L.A. Times, KTLA-5, LAist — including a follow-up — KNBC-4 and KPCC public radio; ESBK offers a personal reflection, as does Gas 2.0 and Net Impact Los Angeles, where Susanna Schick is part of the leadership team. Even the L.A. Weekly had a surprisingly even-handed report, while KCRW’s Shortcuts blog picked up my own posts (thanks Kajon). Toronto bike blog Bike Lane Diary reported on the collision, as did our own Claremont Cyclist.
Meanwhile, KCBS-2 ignored the family’s wishes and invaded interviewed Schick in her hospital room; the hospital has been instructed to keep the press out in the future while she recovers.
A couple other quick notes on other bike-related subjects —
The first public workshop on the proposed Beverly Hills Bike Route Pilot Project will take place Wednesday evening; Better Bike’s Mark Elliot offers his thoughts on the subject.
Central Coast cyclists are fighting ill-advised rumble strips on Highway 1; thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.
In case you missed it, a Bay Area cyclist could face manslaughter charges after blowing through an intersection and killing a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The rider reportedly posted online that he had entered the intersection on the yellow and that the light had turned red before he could get all the way across, and that he had done everything he could to avoid injuring anyone. Right. I’ve laid my bike on its side to avoid hitting someone else, knowing it was going to hurt like hell. And it did. But the other guy walked away, and that was all that really mattered. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the tip.
Meanwhile, Streetblog SF points out that cars still kill a lot more pedestrians than bikes do.
My favorite non-L.A. bikewear designer offers a look at her new spring women’s line, which somehow manages to be practical, stylish and sexy at the same time. Hey Nona — you know us guys need clothes too, right?
And finally, Chris Willig sends a photo of the ghost bike that was installed for Mulholland bike victim Carol Schreder; let’s all be grateful we didn’t need another one this past weekend.