Even cops will tell you they’re often among the worst drivers on the streets.
Yet somehow, they never seem to be at fault when something goes wrong.
That was the case in San Bernardino on Thursday, when a man was killed in a collision with a police officer.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim, identified only as a 61-year old San Bernardino resident, was riding west on Baseline Street east of Valencia Avenue during a rain storm when he allegedly turned left across the five lane street in front of oncoming traffic, and was struck by the patrol car.
He died at the scene.
The Herald News places the time of the crash as 4:55 pm.
The San Bernardino Police Department insists the officer was driving at normal speed, even though he or she was responding to a call at the time of the crash; no mention of whether the emergency lights and siren were being used.
And despite what the Sun’s headline suggests, the victim did not crash into the officer’s car. It hit him.
It’s entirely possible that the crash occurred exactly as the police described it. The rain could have obscured the victim’s vision, and he might have turned in front of the car as a result.
Or it’s possible that the rain obscured the officer’s view, and he or she didn’t see the victim making his turn until it was too late.
It also seems unlikely that the cop was just puttering along at normal speed while responding to a call, though again, it’s possible.
Unless there were independent witnesses to the crash, we’ll only have the officer’s perspective to go on, because the victim can’t tell his side of the story.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Dan Acosta or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.
This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.