Tag Archive for New Orleans

Morning Links: Big Easy drunk driver gets 91 years, Cathedral City bike rider critically injured, and safety in numbers real

Come back after 10 am today for a guest post from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, as she updates a number of recent stories — including the case of hit-and-run driver Pratiti Renee Mehta, who walked despite showing no remorse for her crime, or any sympathy for her victim. 

………

Now that’s taking traffic violence seriously.

A New Orleans judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others when he plowed through them at 80 mph during a Mardi Gras parade to 30 years for each death, plus 30 years and six months for the injured riders — and added another six months for also crashing into parked cars.

Then ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 91 years behind bars.

As others have noted, that’s a life sentence for the 32-year old man.

………

More bad news from the Coachella Valley, where a 50-something bike rider was critically injured in a Cathedral City crash; he was hit by an SUV driver while in a crosswalk.

Meanwhile, a ghost bike will be installed a week from today for Raymundo Jaime, killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Palm Springs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

Because there’s a $25,000 reward if you don’t.

………

A new Rutgers University study confirms the safety in numbers effect, even while injuries are rising, especially among riders 55 to 64.

Although the latter stat is probably explained by the jump in ridership among older people.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A witness got involved when a road raging DC driver got out of his car and pushed him off his bike, for the crime of taking up too much of the roadway while trying to make a left turn.

………

Local

Today’s must read is great look at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program due to the refusal of city leaders to implement it. Or as the author calls it, Vision Non-Zero.

More homeless people are dying on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before, with over 1,000 deaths last year alone; 9% of those deaths were due to bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

You may not see Uber’s Jump Bikes on the streets of Los Angeles soon, as the company files suit against LA after refusing to share bikeshare data with the city.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized after getting hit by a motorist backing out of a driveway; no word on his or her condition.

A Long Beach-area paper profiles a Signal Hill bike shop dedicated to helping bike riders navigate their choices. Sort of like any good LBS.

 

State

Your next ebike could be a California bikemaker’s 36 mph bicycle made to look look like a vintage motorcycle, and designed by the grandson of the legendary Carrol Shelby. Although the 36 mph top end means it will require a helmet and a motorcycle license. And can’t be ridden in bike lanes or pathways.

 

National

The new HBO documentary Any One of Us focuses on the severe spinal cord injury suffered by professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage and his fight to recover from the injury.

A bipartisan bill in the US Senate would require automakers to build alcohol breath or touch sensors into all light vehicles by 2024, to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Although I’d like to see some sort of cognitive test to detect any form of impairment. And include trucks and commercial vehicles, too.

Zwift wants you to help raise $25,000 for Movember to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health struggles and suicide prevention by riding your bike indoors.

Once again, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it, saying smart helmets won’t save bicyclists when the real problem is drivers who won’t put down their phones.

Cosmo says yes, the bizarre crash in this week’s episode of 9-1-1, where a driver hit a bike rider, the drove home and parked overnight with the victim embedded in her windshield, really happened; it was based on this equally strange 2014 crash. And yes, both the real and fictional victims survived.

Kindhearted Utah cops and school officials give a new bike and helmet to a teenaged girl after she was hit by a driver on her bike while leaving school.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous motorist on the road until it’s too late, as an Ohio motorcycle rider faces vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 15-year old boy riding his bike; he was riding on a on a suspended license and had several outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

We’ve seen a few bicyclists ride every street in their city or county lately. But how many do it pedaling an ice cream bike?

The New York Times explains why the city has committed to spending $1.7 billion — yes, with a B — to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next ten years.

The New York Daily News says blame policymakers for the nationwide jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

 

International

Bike Mag reviews the updated Camelbak Podium bottle, and flips over now being able to disassemble the lid to clean it. However, the insulated Podium Ice water bottle remains the best bike bottle ever in my book.

Here’s a few more trips for your bike bucket list, as Travel & Leisure recommends 12 unforgettable vacations that are best done by bike, even for beginners.

No surprise here, as the family of the British man killed by an American diplomat’s wife while riding his motorcycle, who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, is suing the Trump administration for its handling of the case.

A South African man made seven calls to his wife after he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver, saying the same thing each time, because a brain injury meant he couldn’t remember he’d already called her.

 

Competitive Cycling

So much for that. AEG has pulled the plug on next year’s Amgen Tour of California, saying they need to take a year off to figure out a business model that works better. Which is another way of saying we probably won’t see it again.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fat tire Surly for surly weather. Lots of classical buildings have statues atop the dome; not many have bikeshare bikes there.

And seriously, don’t punch your foreign bus passengers when they have trouble with their bikes.

 

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

………

My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

………

This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

………

Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

………

Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

………

Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

………

And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

………

Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

%d bloggers like this: