Our frequent South Bay/OC tipster sends word that Adam Garrett has plead guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Hung Khac Do in Fountain Valley last May.
This is the case in which Garrett not only ran Do down in his ’94 Camry, but inexplicably called police the next day pretending to be a witness. And the police, being far more intelligent than Do evidently assumed, quickly realized they were talking to the actual killer.
Garrett agreed to a plea including 180 days in a private jail, with time off for work, school and church release, as well as three years formal probation, 200 hours community service, $14,000 restitution and court fees. One slip-up and he’ll spend the maximum of four years behind bars.
On the other hand, I’d say that letting him out to attend church seems particularly appropriate.
Anyone who could leave a stranger to die in the street — then call police in a failed attempt to find out what they knew — could benefit from a little spiritual counseling.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link to the Star article; Dj Wheels sends a link the Times’ story on the case.
Satnam Singh, the driver charged with murdering Ventura cyclist Nick Haverland in a drunken rampage last May, had a potentially fatal level of alcohol in his system when he killed Haverland and injured five other people.
According to the Ventura County Star, Singh had a blood alcohol level of .39 — nearly five times the legal limit. And well above the .25 to .32 level at which most people would die of alcohol poisoning.
So high, in fact, that Singh’s attorney argued the 2nd degree murder charge should be dropped because his client was too drunk to form the disregard for human life required under the law.
“The degree of intoxication was so high it would have rendered him incapable to entertain any kind of implied malice,” Biederman said.
I realize he’s just doing his job. But this is exactly why so many people hate lawyers.
Fortunately, judge Charles Campbell concluded that after knocking a mother and daughter off their bikes and rear-ending a car, Singh had to know what he was doing.
A witness described following Singh as he raced to his home at speeds up to 80 mph after he sent Haverland flying through the air to his death.
DJ wheels notes that Singh is currently out on $500,000 bail, with arraignment set for 9 am on January 18th in Courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Singh is allowed to work at the liquor store he owns, but may not consume alcohol, or be in possession of it outside of work.
Something tells me I wouldn’t want to bet on that.
Not surprisingly, Singh also faces a civil suit from Haverland’s family.
It doesn’t look like we’re going to get on to happier subjects anytime soon, as last year’s bike fatalities keep rearing their ugly head.
A comment from TQ lead to the discovery of three more cycling deaths that I was previously unaware of, which have been added to Part 1 of the In Memoriam list.
1/14/11 13-year old Kayel Smith was riding against traffic in Lake Elsinore when he veered right to cross the road, and was struck from behind by a vehicle on the opposite side; Kavel suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
2/16/11 A 50-year old transient and registered sex offender was fatally injured when he was hit by a VW Beetle while crossing an intersection in Fountain Valley; he was wearing dark clothes on a black bike with no lights or reflectors.
In addition, an unidentified cyclist was hit by a motorist after failing to stop for a stop sign in Santa Ana on 6/24/11; I have a report that he died after being placed on life support, but I’m still waiting for confirmation.
That brings last years total cycling deaths in the eight-county Southern California area to 79; 70 killed in collisions — traffic or solo — and nine by shooting. That compares to an average of 68.2 fatalities for the last five years on record (2005 – 2009), and 15 more than each of the previous two years (55 in 2008 and 2009).
Going forward, I’ll drop Santa Barbara County from this list to conform with the seven-county region covered by the Southern California Association of Governments.
This week I’ve focused on the people behind the statistics. Next week, I’ll offer a breakdown of the statistics, including at least one starting finding.
Culver City bike advocate and KCRW Chief Engineer Steve Herbert has created a wikimap of bike facilities on the Westside.
Borrowing from San Diego’s Bike Parking Map, I began today Westside Bicycle Facilities map, an interactive Google map which is open to everyone to add bike facilities they know of for the benefit of all in the cycling community. It’s easy to update, simply press the EDIT button on the screen, enlarge the map to the location of the bike rack, shop or other facility being added, click the Blue Balloon place mark and then point and click where the facility is. Next, change the icon to represent the facility noted: A green cyclist for bike parking, a yellow shopping bag for a bike shop, and add any notation which will aid in locating the facility. Then press SAVE & DONE.
The power in this is the collaborative nature of Google Maps, as one person could never keep up with the all updates, but utilizing the power of the community at large we can empower everyone in creating a potentially useful reference tool.
Briefly started as a map of Culver City facilities, it quickly became apparent a regional coverage area makes more sense & given the lack of restrictions there’s nothing to prevent people from adding facilities on the map outside of the Westside region such as downtown, the valley, South Bay, Orange County….
I hope the community embraces this and adds their knowledge to the effort.
Catching up on a few items I haven’t had a chance to post until now:
The County of Los Angeles is still accepting comments on the new county Bicycle Master Plan prior to the public hearing before the County Regional Planning Commission scheduled for 9 am on January 11th, at the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street Downtown.
SCAG Senior Planner Alan Thompson forwards a link to download the Southern California Council of Government’s draft Regional Transportation Plan covering the years from 21012 to 2035. If you want to know where transportation planning is headed for the next 23 years, it might be a good idea to check it out.
LADOT is looking for a Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Coordinator and Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator for the next year.
You have less than two weeks to comment on Glendale’s proposed bike and pedestrian master plan.
And a few others items that have intrigued and/or infuriated me lately —
Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali uncovers the corporate theft of a Venice Blvd bike lane, and gets a promise from city officials to get it back.
Freakonomics suggests you’re more likely to be injured walking drunk than driving under the influence; Flying Pigeon points out that many of those drunk walkers are injured or killed by cars. And I might add that the problem with driving drunk isn’t the risk of being injured, it’s danger that you could kill someone else.
The estimable Will Campbell looks at Pedestrians Behaving Badly on the L.A. River Bike Path.
A New Mexico tribal government caves in to public pressure and decides to prosecute a driver for killing cross-country cyclist John Anczarski, after they bungled the investigation by failing to properly investigate the crash scene or conduct alcohol or drug tests. And the driver can look forward to a slap on the wrist, since tribal authorities can only prosecute misdemeanors, with a maximum of one year per charge. Maybe they can come up with 40 or 50 counts to charge him with, to be served consecutively.
A Mississippi woman who ran down a cyclist, then drove over her head trying to move her car to the side of the road, gets off with a lousy $50 fine — and then has the heuvos to appeal her already incredibly weak slap on the wrist. Not to mention she has to pay over twice the amount of her fine to do it.
The family of a fallen cyclist files suit against the NYPD for withholding information and bending over backwards to let a killer driver off the hook.
Remarkably, a Lehigh Valley paper gets it exactly wrong, insisting — incorrectly — that most bike safety experts consider shared lanes safer than designated bike lanes, even after a local bike advocate is killed crossing a bridge that used to have bike lanes.
Yet another sports broadcasting jerk tries to get himself fired by tweeting that he intends to run over any cyclist he sees in the street. Here’s hoping he succeeds. At getting himself fired, that is; you can email the station’s General Manager here.
Nearly 50 years after Bob Dylan sang “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand,” some cyclists continue to criticize people who have the temerity to not ride or dress the way they do. Seriously, if you want to wear spandex do it. And if you don’t, don’t. End of story.
Finally, some sick SOB strings wire over the entrance to a Canadian trail and fells an eight-year old girl riding her bike. Yes, clothes-lining an eight-effing-years old.
I hope he’s proud of himself.