I am an investigator and I ride bikes as well. I need some advice from riders who have a lot of road experience that may have experienced problems when being passed by 18 wheeler TT rigs. Here are the facts:
I have a Tractor Trailer v. Pedestrian incident in Massachusetts that took place during the day in June of 2004 wherein the pedestrian was on a 2 wheel single speed bicycle traveling west in the breakdown lane of a main road. Weather not a factor- it was nice. 19 year old pedestrian operating bike near the white fog line but in the breakdown lane. An 18 wheeler TT traveling in the 13 foot wide west lane comes upon the bike and pedestrian and starts to pass him, the driver thinks, without incident. Somehow, the pedestrian loses control of the bike and there is an impact with the bike/pedestrian at the right rear tire area of the TT. The driver is flagged down by a witness 1/8 mile down the road as TT driver alleges he is not aware of the impact. The TT returns to scene. Very significant injuries to pedestrian. Police and firefighters to scene. Bike is found in breakdown lane. Blood and pedestrian in breakdown lane. Witnesses say pedestrian lost control of bike as TT went by him. Speed of TT about 40 MPH. Labs negative for alcohol and/or drugs.
Police did an investigation that is about the worst I've seen for this type of tragedy: no state police truck team; no state police acc. reconstruction; no DOT involvement; no investigation of TT; no drug test of driver; no copies of logs; nothing. They do have some digital pictures and a police report that is just short of worthless. The driver was not cited. They let him go at the scene. Bike may be missing. Pedestrian does not recall accident. He'll be somewhat disabled the rest of his life. Investigating cop is non cooperative and focused on everything but proximate cause of accident when I spoke to him.
Here's my question. I'm trying to determine what may have caused the bike to lose control when the TT was upon him. Can anyone tell me about wind draft and wind suction involved with a moving TT? Are there any other possibilities including noise/being startled/scared, etc.. or other possibilities. Nothing wrong with the bike so no malfunctions that we know of. The TT remained in his lane and did not cross over the white fog line according to witnesses. What have you all experienced? Any advice would be appreciated. Please respond to me privately at lajoie@PrivateInvestigator.com.