Excuse me a moment, because I’m livid.
Yesterday, a 19-year old alleged drunk driver collided with a group of cyclists in Torrance, critically injuring one rider and leaving another with a broken hand.
In fact, reports indicate that the car was full of intoxicated young women, on the road at 7:15 am(!). Yet according to the Daily Breeze, a spokesperson for the Torrance police still tried to blame the cyclists for the collision.
“It’s kind of a residential street, so we’re not sure if the bicyclists were staying on their side of the road or taking up more of the road,” Chase said.
That, even though his aspersions are clearly contradicted by witnesses at the scene.
According to a second-hand witness statement posted on Road Bike Review, Adam Rybicki was riding with a group of 10 – 12 cyclists returning from a ride through Palos Verdes when they encountered a swerving car on the 600 block of Camino de Encanto.
When the car veered onto the wrong side of the road, Rybicki swerved left to avoid it. However, the car then swerved back to the right, narrowly missing the lead riders and hitting him head on, as well as hitting and injuring a second rider. The writer says it was only divine intervention that spared the rest of the group — and describes the driver as emotionless when she was cuffed at the scene.
Jim Lyle, who came on the scene moments later, described Rybicki’s carbon fiber bike as “exploded,” and said there was significant damage to the driver’s car.
I’ll spare you the description of his injuries; you can read it on Road Bike Review comment if you want. But trust me, it’s not pretty, and sounds like your prayers and/or best wishes would be in order.
Then again, judging by the report in the Daily Breeze, it also sounds like cyclists may need a little divine intervention in dealing with the local police, as well.
Here you have a case where witnesses clearly describe a car swerving onto the wrong side of the road, scattering a group of riders in a desperate attempt to save their own lives. Then the driver swerves back and hits two riders who were only on the wrong side of the road because they were trying to avoid her.
And by all accounts, the driver was clearly drunk — verified by the fact that the police immediately took her into custody for felony DUI, holding her on $100,000 bond.
Yet a spokesperson for the Torrance police still suggests that the riders may have been at fault. So just what part of drunk driving don’t they understand?
And let’s not forget that the driver was underage.
Here they had a perfect opportunity to comment on the obvious and well-documented dangers of driving under the influence — at seven in the morning, no less. And use this woman’s story as a cautionary tale to help keep other young people off the road after drinking.
Instead, all they seem to manage is to suggest that, despite all available evidence, maybe she wasn’t entirely at fault.
Excuse my language, please.
But just what the fuck is wrong with them?
My prayers go out to Adam Rybicki and his family and loved ones; best wishes for a full and complete recovery.
Update: It appears the initial comments by the Torrance Police spokesperson were wrong. All reports I’ve received from people on the scene of Sunday’s collision indicate the Torrance police conducted a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation, and that the officer whose comments suggested police were blaming the cyclists was not involved in the investigation and had no direct knowledge of the case.