Tag Archive for Kenneth Prevatte

Breaking News: No justice for OC cyclist Kenneth Prevatte; civil suit filed in Debra Deem case

Once again, there’s no justice for a fallen rider.

Late Tuesday, I received an email from the sister of Kenneth Prevatte, killed in a rear-end collision while riding in a Sunset Beach bike lane on PCH in Huntington Beach over two years ago. She informed me that Becki Lee James, the driver charged in the death of the popular Long Beach cyclist, was acquitted in a trial this week.

She reports James had been charged with vehicular manslaughter; she had originally been arrested on suspicion of felony DUI causing great bodily injury & gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

No word yet on why the alcohol charges had been dropped or why she was acquitted in what seemed like a clear cut case; hopefully we’ll have more information soon.

But at least the Orange County District Attorney should be congratulated for filing charges in a case with no guarantee of victory — unlike the LA DA.

And hopefully, Prevatte’s family will get the justice they deserve in civil court.

In an aside to the case, one of the potential jurors dismissed from the jury pool in the James trial was the brother of teenage cyclist Sean Severson, killed while biking to school in Fountain Valley.

Pity that those who would make the best jurors in cases like this are the ones who are automatically excluded.

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Speaking of civil court, I received a press release from Torrance-based law firm AgnewBrusavich, the firm behind the CalBikeLAw.com website, announcing they had filed a civil suit in the death of cyclist Debra Deem.

Deem, the wife of former Olympian cyclist and Cycle Werks bike shops owner Paul Deem, was riding in the bike lane on PCH in Newport Beach when she was right hooked by a driver turning onto Newport Coast Drive.

The suit alleges that the State of California and the City of Newport Beach were both negligent in the design and maintenance of what has been described as a very confusing intersection by cyclists who ride there. Unlike other intersections in the area, the bike lane reportedly disappears prior to the highway-style interchange, leaving riders with no clear pathway to the other side, and no guide for drivers on where bikes are likely to be positioned.

According to the release, Paul Deem filed the suit, at least in part, in hopes that it will bring much needed safety improvements to this section of PCH.

Meanwhile, I’m told that the case against the driver, 84-year old Robert James Anderson, ended in a mistrial on Friday; no word yet on why or if the case will be refiled.

 

Possible justice, and justice delayed, in OC; CPP students and faculty remember Ivan Aguilar

A couple quick updates on legal cases from behind the Orange Curtain.

I’m told that Joel Alexander Murphy, the driver accused of slaughtering cyclist Roger Lippmann in a high speed PCH hit-and-run last June, has pleaded guilty to all charges against him, which at one time included felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses.

Sentencing is scheduled for next month; my source says the prosecutor in the case is tough as nails, so we should be able to expect some significant jail time.

Meanwhile, the same source tells me that lawyers for Juli Ann Brown, the driver charged with running down three cyclists in a drunken Seal Beach hit-and-run last February, have had a lot of meetings in chambers, which suggests they may be working out a plea deal. She already has at least two prior DUI convictions, so anything less than actual jail time — and permanent loss of her license — would be a significant miscarriage of justice.

And still no charges against Becki Lee James, who was arrested last July on suspicion of felony DUI causing great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of cyclist Kenneth Prevatte. Kind of makes you wonder what the OC DA is waiting on.

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That petition calling on Governor Brown to sign a three-foot passing law after screwing cyclists vetoing similar bills twice was up to 78 signatures in less than one day the last I checked. If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign now and send a message that it’s long past time to protect our safety; not everyone agrees, though.

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A ghost bike was installed for fallen Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar Thursday. LACBC-affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition calls on the university to create a safer and more bike-friendly campus, while CLR Effect offers moving photos of the tribute.

Meanwhile, a writer for several Inland Empire publications somehow managed to capture the moment beautifully, in just 140 characters:

The silence among the hundreds of those left behind at the memorial after the bicyclists ride off is broken only by frequent sniffling.

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The Times looks at the idea of taxing bikes; I’ve said before I wouldn’t object to a reasonable fee if all the funds raised went to improving bikeways and safety. DTLA Bikes invites you to ride with them on the last Sunday of each month. Hopefully, the rain will stop in time for ArtNight Pasadena Friday night. The Culver City police team with Target to give a 10-year old girl a new bike after hers is wrecked in a collision.

Once again, police crack down on the victims of our auto-centric streets rather than the ones who place them at risk, this time in San Diego. Now’s your chance to make La Jolla more bike friendly; it wasn’t very when I lived down that way. A Sacramento-area high school coach is killed in a bizarre bicycling accident when he’s impaled on a metal gate after he looks back to wave at a student; thanks to Louie Garcia for the heads-up. San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere will stand trial for felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian last year; if we expect to hold drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel, we should expect cyclists to be held to the same standard. A Chico man may have ridden his bike to a highway overpass at 2:30 am, leaned it against the railing and jumped to his death. Teams are announced for the Amgen Tour of California.

Elly Blue explains how to bike to the airport. A marketing specialist says it’s time to tone down the bike evangelism. Commuter Age offers a big FU to Opel for their blatant attempt to sell cars using bikes. Portland businesses seek out spaces next to bike lanes. The new healthcare plan pisses an Iowa cyclist off so much he’s riding 7,000 miles at age 70 to protest it; no, I don’t really get it either. A proposed 924 mile off-road hiking and biking route would connect Michigan and Wisconsin. Bikeyface suggests bike shops are ignoring the future of bicycling. A Boston-area woman is 61, deaf and rides her bike everywhere. Bikes mean business on Capital Hill.

UK cyclists saved their country’s economy tens of million of pounds and kept hundreds of thousands of tonnes, uh, tons of carbon emissions out of the air; no wonder Brit drivers hate them. Even cardinals on their way to elect a new pope ride bikes. An Aussie car passenger warned the driver about a cyclist five seconds before he hit the rider. A dooring could silence a New Zealand string quartet for three months.

Finally, an Israeli town plans an innovative elevated bikeway to allow cyclists to U-turn without crossing the road. Nice, but somehow I can’t picture anyone actually using it, especially since it only works for people who don’t want to ride past the city limits; seems much easier to just turn around.

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