Monthly Archives: May 2021

“Careless” motorist rear-ends me. Walks away with a fine.

On March 1, 2021, as I was riding my bicycle on 6th St. S. near 30th St., I was struck from behind by a motorist who was either distracted, indifferent or homicidal. My pelvis and scapula were shattered, and I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I was in the hospital more than five weeks.

Fortunately (besides the fact that I survived), I had cameras on my bike. The rear one caught the crash and can be seen here: Both it and the front camera are designed to run for several minutes after a crash. They recorded the driver saying to me as I lay on the ground, “Sir, pulled out in front of me.” The footage, of course, shows that not to be the case. I was in the right-hand outside lane on this four-lane road when he pulled into my lane about 100 yards behind me. There was nothing between me and him, and it was a clear, sunny mid-morning. He had at least five seconds to see and recognize that another vehicle in front of him was in the same lane. You can see in the footage that he had his left hand at 12 o’clock on the steering wheel as he hit me. He seems to make no attempt to stop until the last second.

The responding officer issued the driver a careless driving citation as it was obviously a rear-end crash for which I bore no responsibility. But he also checked on the citation that there were “no serious injuries.” The careless motorist’s maximum punishment could be the $166 fine.

The driver did not have auto insurance and has a history of driving without insurance, driving on a suspended license and numerous speeding and failure to yield citations.

Many of us bicyclists lament the lack of accountability for motorists whose inattention leads to serious injuries or death of vulnerable road users. The news media often doesn’t help by the way it reports such crashes. Usually, the only news report is the day after and is usually based solely on the initial law enforcement officer report. The journalistic style usually subtly sets fault for the crash on the vulnerable road user and absolves the motorist.

Despite my injuries, the investigating officer in my case marked on the citation a box labeled “no serious injuries” (which is likely why there was no press coverage of my crash). He took no statements from any witnesses, though on the front camera video, you can hear an apparent witness say, “I’m a retired police officer.”

These are the facts of the crash. Anything more will need to wait for a future post.