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Tragic ride last night(24 posts)

Tragic ride last nightAaronL
Aug 23, 2002 10:36 AM
Hey folks,

I just need to talk about this, in the hope that maybe it can help one of you, in the future.

Our club was on its usual thursday run and we were going down a small hill, on a raod with a huge shoulder and very wide traffic lane. The group was pretty much single file (about 15-20 of us)when a kid in a Honda Civic went past us, honking his horn and buzzing us as we went by.

As he went past the group several of us gave him the finger (back at him) and motioned for him to come back to us. This guy slams on his brakes in the middle of the road. We all hit the brakes and disperse, he then jerks the wheel to the right, putting his car in the shoulder/bike lane at the exact same moment one of my teammates was there. The result was Ron hit the back of the car at about 30MPH, he literally blew out the entire back window and then bounced off the back of the car.

The kid jumps out screaming it wasn't his fault as Ron was lying there in pool of blood. We were all in shock, screaming yelling, looking at Ron lying there, not knowing how bad he was hurt. All the while this kid was defiant.

To make a long story short, Ron is in the hospital today, he's going to be okay he's got some cuts and bruises, but he'll live to fight another day.

The punk told the cop that he was JDA and he thought we wanted to talk to him so he stopped to see what we wanted. What a good samaritan he tried to make himself out to be. We told a much different story, but get this, the cop said our stories don't matter because we are biased. Hell yes we are biased, the punk tried to kill us. So, it boils down to whether the police determine who is at fault. It's quite obvious it was a deliberate act, but you never know.

Goddamn I hate this crap.

To put the crash into perspective, Ron's bike snapped at the top tube, the downtube is buckled at about 40 degrees and the front wheel was pushed all the way into the cranks. The impact was tremendous and his helmet certainly saved his life. He was also lucky that he hit the glass, which took the brunt of the force. Had he pivoted onto the trunk, i don't think he would have been so lucky.

The story here is to be very careful and if some punk gets your blood pumping, let it go. Of course it's not the fault of any of us, this prick made the decision to do what he did. But, giving a jerk in a 2000 pound weapon an excuse is not what we are all about.
re: Tragic ride last nightDragon33
Aug 23, 2002 10:41 AM
Sorry man, Hope Ron is OK. This is what I am afraid of everyday.
The cop's not the judge, and you have 15 witnessesSilverback
Aug 23, 2002 10:52 AM
I wouldn't let this drop where it is now. If nothing else, the group should file a complaint with the police chief or whatever kind of ombudsman/public relations office the PD has. It may not do much good--it PROBABLY won't do much good, if this is the first complaint--but it goes into the officer's record, and it announces to the Police Department that you won't just lie down.
With luck, you might get a review of the incident and possibly a ticket for the driver, then a few of you could follow the case to court and testify.
re: Tragic ride last nightCT5
Aug 23, 2002 11:03 AM
Ron should hire a lawyer and sue the hell out of this A-hole. His insurance company won't be happy to hear he's out there provoking fights and injuring riders with his car. Plus, it's his word versus all of you, should be a no brainer for a jury, but I doubt the insurance company would let it go that far.
re: Tragic ride last nightlanternrouge
Aug 23, 2002 11:12 AM
Tragic and wholly unwarranted - this kid needs to be made an example of.

What do you mean when you said the driver was "buzzing us as we went by"? How close did he come to the cyclists? Who gave whom the finger first?

You said he slammed on his brakes in the middle of the road and then "jerk[ed] the wheel to the right, putting his car in the shoulder/bike lane." That sounds like reckless driving to me.

And on top of everything, the kid is a damn liar. Watch out - he will have his attorney & parents there to defend him. Get your stories straight, state the facts, be honest and don't get emotional.

In my opinion, this kid is dangerous and the legal system needs to deal severely with him.
re: Tragic ride last nightbayman
Aug 23, 2002 11:39 AM
Ron should go to the magistrate or court house and file charges for yourselfs, this kid could be looking at jail time. I was forced off the road and I filed charges, assult, damage of property. I had one witness, the guy i was ridding with, no ticket issued by the police, and no prosecutor. The judge was very easy on the guy and gave him 200hrs community service and adwarded me 856.00 for wheels.
The state trooper said if i was hurt he would looked him up on the spot, because i was not hurt and there was less than 1000.00 damage he could not charge him, but i could. Hope Ron is ridding soon.
someone has to step downfiltersweep
Aug 23, 2002 1:17 PM

1. kid buzzes and flips off bikes
2. bikers flip off kid and wave him over
3. kid bites for the wave, slams on brakes and pulls over (not intending to cause the accident, but rather negligent nonetheless?)
4. bike slams into kids car

Let's remove #4 from this... what did everyone want #4 to be? What was the intent of waving the kid (who has already displayed aggressive behavior) over? Were you planning to educate him, or "educate" him? I doubt any good would have come out of the situation. Both "sides" apparently felt "provoked."

My point is that someone somewhere MUST back down in any similar situation or someone WILL be injured.

I'm not saying the cyclist had it coming, but it seems like the situation was escalating... I get seriously annoyed/threatened by motorists once in awhile... and have violent fantasies toward them or their vehicle, but I never feel it will be a "winning situation" on a bike.
I was wondering that as wellkenyee
Aug 23, 2002 2:18 PM
A few things puzzled me:
1) What was the point in waving him over? If it was to beat the crap out of him, that would have been definite assault and battery and the cyclists would have definitely gotten the cyclists felony records, even if they were "justified"; ditto the suggestions below that they "find him and kick his *ss"...felony. Up to that point, it was just road rage and no one had gotten hurt yet (or looked like they would besides being ticked off at each other).
2) Why was Ron going 30mph while this was taking place? If everyone was dispersing, why wasn't everyone slamming their brakes in case something bad did happen? I'd guess it was less than that, but anything above 10mph will probably hurt.
3) Why would the kid pull over if he was outnumbered? Pretty stupid thing to do, though a typical road rager thing to do.

The kid is a perfect example of one that needs a spanking, but that's frowned upon now :-P

p.s., and no, I don't even flip off drivers while I'm driving...having your car in a body shop is no fun either (but it's better than being in a hospital)...
I was wondering that as wellAaronL
Aug 23, 2002 3:00 PM
Couple of things,

Ron was at the very front of the group and this guy whipped in, right in front of him. He never knew what was going on behind him. We always wind up the pace in this area to set up for a hill sprint, he was just driving the train.

Second, this a'hole was on the prowl (BTW, i call him a "kid," but he said he was 24, old enough to know better).

But getting flipped off and challenged by a bunch of cyclists while in a car is not an excuse to cut us off. I believe any judge will tell you the same thing. He's the one that had the choice to either drive away or cause what he did. We did not influence that in any manner. Was his lifer in danger? NO. Was he put in a situation where he needed to defend himself? No, so why would he do what he did other than to hurt one of us? Don't blame the victim here.

Sure, when you are out riding hard and the adreneline is pumping it's hard to back down. But there is a line where rational people let it go and walk away. This guy crossed that line, not us. Last time i drove on the freeway, i noticed a lot of bird flipping and yelling, yet i didn't see anyone get put in the hospital from it.

There is no excuse to his actions, NONE.
I was wondering that as wellSkip
Aug 23, 2002 5:36 PM
What would you, or the collective "you", have done if he had put on his turn signal, gradually slowed down well ahead of your peloton, pulled well off the shoulder, stopped, and exited his vehicle, waiting for you to approach from behind?
Never said Ron was to blamekenyee
Aug 23, 2002 6:42 PM
nor did I mean to imply it. I hope he heals well and files charges against the driver (which is what the driver deserves and what the cop should have done).

Some of your group (including you if you flipped him off) participated in road rage though. It is what it is. Doesn't matter if he flipped you off first. By doing the same thing, you participated in a road rage incident. By waving him over, you escalated. He then escalated more by pulling over. Ron was an innocent victim since he didn't even know what was going on as you indicated. I doubt the 24yr old would deliberately put his car in front of someone and get his car trashed; psychos oddly care about their own stuff.

Here's a different're sitting in a park...guy rambles across your path swearing and swinging a baseball bat around...he's obviously close to the edge of losing it. He starts swearing at you. Do you a) flip him off, or b) ignore him and report him to the cops for threatening you?

Even playing w/ a motorcyclist who's road raging is playing w/ fire. You're outweighed by hundreds of pounds (thousands in the case of a car). It's the same thing as a bat...
Aug 23, 2002 7:24 PM
YOU (all) challenged HIM (after he was a jerk, but not threatening you all), thus escalating the violence. His reaction was not legal in of itself, but you all provided the trigger.
A judge will find for Ron against the auto driver, but you all bear a moral responsiblity.

It was much like all of you going to a bar, some stupid prick being an asshole, you all being assholes back and then a fight starts. Ron, minding his own biz, just getting back from getting a beer, takes the first punch...for the rest of you.

Ron was a victim of you all's stupid reaction to a jerk, and the jerks's reaction to you all's provocation. Two wrongs do not make a right. You all are part of the problem, not the solution.
If I were Ron, I would find a new club as well, next time you might get me killed.
Great point filter... Always difuse the sitch... nmspyderman
Aug 23, 2002 7:49 PM
isn't what they call attempt of manslaughter? nmcyclopathic
Aug 23, 2002 6:20 PM
re: Tragic ride last nightdirthersh
Aug 23, 2002 11:23 AM
I've been doing alot of commuting to work and sometimes-not very often-but sometimes I have to deal with a driver who is a total a**. My first thought is to flip him off or make another jesture because I did nothing wrong except have the audacity of being in HIS space but lately I'm trying to reconsider because of just what happened to Ron. Face it, there are some who don't care about causing a cyclist to crash which could lead to a permanent disability. Is anything worth that? I'll swallow my pride and fume for a few minutes but at least I can get up the next morning and ride.
re: Tragic ride last nightgregario
Aug 23, 2002 12:04 PM
I agree, pursue this guy as much as you can. Get his insurance company involved.

And if that doesn't work find him and beat the shit out of him. I'm serious. It should have been done last night when there were 15-20 pissed cyclists standing there.
Thanks, everyoneAaronL
Aug 23, 2002 12:24 PM
I want to thank you all for the support and I'll be sure to tell Ron about you guys/gals.

Luckily, one of our best friends is an attorney, and so is my brother-in-law, so he'll be well versed in his legal options.

I really don't know who gave the finger first, all i know is i was at the front of the group when this Honda Civic passed me entirely too damn close with the horn blaring, his finger was up at that time, and so went mine. I don't think it really matters who flipped off who first, the guy is an adult, and had full control of his actions and destiny at that point. I doesn't matter if we were chanting "F' your mother," as he approached us in his car and he was doing nothing wrong, what he did was out and out attempted murder.
Its unbelievableski4x
Aug 23, 2002 12:46 PM
This type of thing pi$$e$ me off. Just last weekend while I was going 40mph down a canyon road, some guy in an SUV decided to "buzz" me as well. Now Ive been riding on the road long enough to know when someone is purposely trying to ride as close to you as possible. Naturally I gave him the finger and he returned the favor.

Its amazing that these "family" a$$holes, who have kids, feel its okay if they purposely took your life or caused you a disability, and these arent punk kids.
I wonder how these jerks would feel if some motorist killed their kid whilst they were on a bicycle. My bet is they would have a whole different outlook.

The guys I ride with would not have let that punk get away with what he did. They would have made him think twice about ever trying that stunt again!!
Think twice about beating the crap out of him!astrobiker
Aug 23, 2002 1:06 PM
Just remember, all that will do is keep him from assulting a group of 20 riders again - the next lone rider he came across would probably pay for it!

Having his parents and insurance company pay for it dearly will probably be more effective in the long run, although less instant gratification!
Think twice about beating the crap out of him!willin
Aug 23, 2002 4:36 PM
I am an attorny and I can tell you that there is nothing to prevent you from filing criminal charges against the driver. Just go to the local courthouse and call/ask to see the one of the local district attornies to file a complaint.

My take is that the cop didnt want to go into a criminal situation (versus a traffic ticket to the kid), so let it go.

I would ask that on behalf of all cyclists that your friend go ahead and file charges. FWIW, Im 43 years old and go on three-four fast group rides a week, so see this stuff all the time. We all do. There is one driver at 640 am every We and Fri that gives us a real long and close horn blast. We just ignore it.

Also, hwoever, we gotta understand that it doesnt do us any good at all to start flipping off drivers on group rides. Any group of bikers workiung a fast group ride should have enough experience not to fall for the honk and buzz routine. (no pun intended)

Good to hear your pal's OK
Plenty of legal options.Uncle Tim
Aug 23, 2002 5:29 PM
The injured party in this tragic event has lots of options available.

If the police drag their feet on this, the entire group needs to get down to the District Attorney's office (or whatever appropriate prosecuting agency exists in the jurisdiction) and pressure for criminal charges to be levied against this individual. If enough noise is made, criminal charges will be filed, as they should be.

This kid should be in a lot of trouble. Before a judge or a jury, things will look a lot closer to the truth.
Ron needs our support...Iwannapodiumgirl
Aug 23, 2002 7:25 PM
Is there anyhting we can do to help Ron? I am in Sydney Australia, yet am most angry after reading that story.

Unfortunately the same thing happened to a riding friend of mine. The thing he said helped him the most was knowing that people were thinking of him - even the cards in his hospital room made him strong.

Is there a way we can send a supportive e-mail or card to Ron, just to let him know that the people that read and contribute to this board, no matter whether they be in the USA, Europe, Asia or Australia, are thinking of him? After all, united we ride, divided we fall!

Perhaps you Aaron, can set up a suitable Hotmail account - pedal4ron@hotmail etc, and let him know about it?

Talk to an attorney now!spyderman
Aug 23, 2002 7:45 PM
Get sworn statements from all witnesses. This is a simple case of reckless driving. IMO, It should be assault with a deadly weapon. The PO can't decided whether you file a complaint, he has to take the formal complaint whether his report agrees with it or not. Especially since there was bodily injury. If he doesn't, talk to his superior. Have Ron's lawyer push this too.

And just smile and wave when you see the bird. Their just proud and are displaying their I.Q..
So much evidence, so many witnesses, take legal action!Leisure
Aug 24, 2002 1:43 PM
I have always and will continue to say I have very little faith in the legal system, and even this situation isn't beyond their ability to botch. But with so much personal damage and so many witnesses, I would like to think most judges will actually figure this one out. What you guys did to escalate the situation should not affect how the judge looks at the actions the kid took and the kid should be in for some legal pain.

What a lazy cop.