LAPD rules no contact in closing Pinkyracer investigation; manslaughter charges against SF cyclist

The LAPD has concluded their investigation into the Susanna Schick/Pinkyracer case. And concluded that she fell on her own while riding at a near miraculous 30 to 35 mph.

Don’t get me wrong.

I really, really want to believe that the police have conducted a full and fair investigation in this case, and ruled out any other possibilities before coming to the conclusion that her injuries were the result of an unaided solo fall.

But as long as they continue to insist that she was riding up to 35 mph — just moments after stopping for a red light, no less — it only goes to show how little they understand bicycling. And by extension, how to investigate bicycling collisions.

Which does not bode well for any of us.

I’m not saying they didn’t conduct a full investigation. Or that their conclusion is necessarily wrong. But their insistence that Schick was riding at a world record pace defies plausibility.

Schick herself doesn’t buy it either, insisting that she was riding at a more reasonable 18 mph when she fell. And that she’s sure there was another car involved.

Meanwhile, I’m told that the confusion over the lack of a police report when news broke about Schick’s injuries stemmed from the fact that the officers on the scene filed an injury report, rather than a collision or crime report.

As a result, when the press started calling looking for information on a road rage assault and hit-and-run, the police didn’t have any idea what they were talking about.

Only when they connected Schick’s name with the injury report did they put the two together.

The good news is, she’s reportedly working hard in rehab, and making good progress in recovering from her injuries.

……..

Vehicular manslaughter charges will be filed against San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere in the death of 71-year old pedestrian Sutchi Hui.

Bucchere was caught on security camera entering the intersection on the yellow, but apparently made no attempt to stop before hitting Hui. According to witnesses, he was riding in a reckless manner for several blocks before the collision, speeding in a downhill 25 mph zone and blowing through stop signs and red lights.

Consider that yet another reason to stop for signals; it could come back to haunt you if anything goes wrong later.

The San Francisco Examiner reminds us all to keep this case in perspective.

……..

I’ve gotten word from 4th District L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office that a section of the L.A. River Bike Path will closed for a 5K fun run on Sunday, May 6th.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge will host a 5K Fun Run on May 6, 2012 in celebration of the Los Angeles River. The route will take runners (and walkers!) along the banks of the river, in celebration of its beauty. Cyclists should note the closure of the Los Angeles River bike path from 4:00 AM until 11:00 AM. on May 6th from Los Feliz Boulevard to Marsh Park. lariverfunrun.com

Meanwhile, the USC racing team invites you to join them for the rescheduled Trojan Cycling Benefit Ride this Sunday. Riders of all abilities are welcomed, and coffee and pastries will be served prior to the 9:30 am roll out at Bike Effect at 910 West Broadway in Santa Monica; there’s a suggested $20 donation.

……..

Amazingly, a San Diego police lieutenant says a driver can’t be charged with a crime for a collision if the victim survives; if you want justice down there, evidently you have to die first.

I was shocked when I heard O’Hanlon state that no charges were filed against the drivers responsible for two cases where the bicyclists survived.

O’Hanlon responded, “to be charged with a crime, there has to be a death.” Thus, the only recourse for the party injured is to pursue the case in Civil Court for damages. In order for a case to go to the District Attorney’s office the case has to be a felony – and the criteria for a felony includes intent, malice, gross negligence or substance abuse. But in a case that is not a manslaughter, “the law is very restrictive. We don’t have a misdemeanor.” Intentional road rage acts have “malice and premeditation and you have assault with a deadly weapon.”  Absent that, “you have a vehicle code violation”.

Evidently, misdemeanor charges aren’t an option in San Diego.

Nor, evidently, is justice for victims who survive.

……..

Advice on how to safely ride the new Expo Line bikeway. Joe Linton explains why the Bicycle Kitchen wants a new home and how you can help. Why volunteer at the Bikerowave. Better Bike recounts the second Bike Route Pilot Meeting in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. A writer for the Daily Trojan says USC should discourage bike use rather than develop a new bike plan; the solution, according to her — more skateboards and scooters. Ride the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California before the pros. No, really. Mr. Bicycle Fixation says you don’t have to join the Navy to see the world, just get on your bike and ride. The current LADOT Bike Blog meister talks with the previous one. A virtually invisible Agoura speed bump takes out yet another cyclist. The Claremont Cyclist offers beautiful views of a ride up Marshall Canyon. What happens if you bike to work and an emergency calls you back home?

California cyclists could see another attempt to ban distracted cycling; Cycleliscious says it could ban your Panda pictures. The San Diego cyclist who confessed to slashing a local cop, among other charges, now wants to withdraw his guilty plea. Everyone who felt taken in by Floyd Landis’ ultimately losing defense against doping charges can take comfort in news that he is now the subject of a grand jury investigation; the Feds couldn’t get Lance, so maybe they’re going after an easier target. A 25-year battle to build a bikeway between an Louis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Another band is touring the Bay Area by bike. Alta selected to run a Bay Area bike plan. Frightening first person bike cam view of a Berkeley hit-and-run that took out two cyclists.

Ten tweets to help boost cycling in cities. Once upon a time, authorities actually took traffic deaths seriously. A new series of stamps will honor bicycling. A well-lit cyclist is hit by a car at 70 mph due to driver inattention, yet the driver isn’t charged — resulting in a Powerpoint on how to be seen. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says Durango CO police made up a law, then did the cycling collision victim a favor by not charging him with it. The University of Utah plans to increase bike usage. Former President George W. Bush hosts a Wounded Warriors ride. An Ohio cyclist is killed after running into a post designed to keep cars off a bike path; I’ve come within inches of those myself. A Michigan group adapts the Bike League’s Smart Cycling course to help cyclists with disabilities. The media says Detroit is becoming surprisingly bike friendly. New York bike lawyers unveil a bike crash app. A bike riding perp fakes a collision in an attempt to get away. A look back at 25 years of a multi-town Rhode Island bike path. DC authorities clearly get it, expecting three out of every four area trips to be made car-free within 20 years. An autopsy shows a North Carolina cyclist died of head trauma after a police officer used a stun gun on him as he rode his bike; what the hell did they think was going to happen?

England’s iconic Raleigh bike brand is now a Dutch bike. A UK cyclist keeps the camera running as he’s forced off the road by a double-decker bus. London bike bloggers play a role in the city’s upcoming mayoral election. How a planned bike paradise apparently failed. A Westmoreland writer encourages cyclists to stay off area roads if they don’t want to get killed. A legless Scot war vet plans to compete in this year’s Race Across America (RAAM). A look at 23-year old Eritrean pro cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Finally, the Department of DIY opens a motor vehicle chapter in Studio City, as someone has repeatedly painted over a red curb on Colfax. Bikeyface looks at how the big kids ride. And the Onion offers their own eye-watering bike safety tips; thanks to Where to Bike Los Angeles co-author Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

4 comments

  1. Darwin says:

    That prick Bush’s lies are responsible for the deaths and wounds of any thousands.

  2. Mark Elliot says:

    > the biking black hole of Beverly Hills

    Ted, you’ll give my town a bad name with this kind of yellow journalism… just as we’re doing everything we can to win the favor of our fellow Angelenos. You’ll set us back, man!
    I’d love to deliver a positive report on that meeting, but my upcoming post, Process for Process’s Sake, will probably suggest my dyspeptic mood about it.
    Thanks for the great linkage!

  3. 1) What will the police say in response to that it’s physically impossible for Pinkyracer to have gone that fast? “Enter the Olympics!”

    2) Boo to potential ban for texting/talking while bicycling. I feel like the ban on motorists was to save lives while the ban for cyclists is just to keep traffic flowing. I know a lot of fellow cyclists disagree with my opinion but I feel biking and walking are more comparable and thus if you can walk and talk on phone, you should be able to bike and talk on phone. Not saying this gives one right to be a jerk or dare devil, but if I’m cruising around the neighborhood I see no problem with chatting on the phone, the biggest danger would be a speeding and/or distracted motorist.

  4. Jim Lyle says:

    According to an article in today’s LA Times, a man was sentenced to two years in prison for importing iguana meat into the US from Mexico. Yet, the authorities don’t punish hit-and-run drivers who severely injure bicyclists. What has our world come to?

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