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  1. #1
    Senior Member crazy_lazy_bear's Avatar
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    Cyclists react with anger after no indictment in fatal bike crash

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  2. #2
    Commander, UFO Bike K'Tesh's Avatar
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    They had video, and still didn't indict? The Grand Jury should be indicted...

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    All the details here including accident reports with transcripts of the police interviews with the driver of the truck.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/871247-No-Charges-For-Driver-In-Fatal-Wellesley-Bike-Crash


    I have been thinking about this accident for a couple of days and while this scumbag of a truck driver deserves to rot in jail for a long long time I think it is important to point out that this accident could possibly been avoided by the cyclist if he had taken the lane.

    It took me a while to realize that you can't depend on motorists to not try to pass you where it is not safe. You can count on them trying. The only way to stop them is to take the whole lane for as long as you need to to prevent anyone from attempting to make an unsafe pass.

    Now I am not saying that this cyclist has any responsibility in this accident at all. And who know this ******* might have run him down anyway.

    I am just saying that he might be alive today if he had taken the lane.

  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Lots have cyclists have been killed "taking the lane", I don't think that's a universal solution to the problem. Drivers need to be re-educated, and that starts in drivers ed and the DMV testing. Heck, when I took the written drivers test a millenium ago, I don't think there was single question about yielding to cyclists or their rights on the road. Frankly, I think that all drivers should be forced to go through the full written and driving test every five years, I bet the failure rate would be pretty high. Currently, any fool can get a driver's license.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Taking the lane is no guarantee either, bad driving motorists will still be bad drivers regardless.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    One can only speculate on what type of decision outcome would have been made if the same grand jurists had to deliberate on an incident where a cyclist had caused the death of a motorist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Taking the lane is no guarantee either, bad driving motorists will still be bad drivers regardless.

    Right no point in looking at doing all we can do to make us safer on the road.

  8. #8
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I think when they say that people "don't care about the safety of cyclists" what is really happening is that people think that riding a bike in traffic is just asking to get killed, so they think the cyclist clearly doesn't care about his own safety, he's doing something incredibly reckless, it's his own fault.

    I think for that reason people think that a cyclist getting killed is inevitable and for the most part don't blame the driver any more than they'd blame the ground that killed someone that jumped off a cliff.

    They don't seem to be willing to admit to the fact that it's dangerous because people drive like selfish, distracted morons; rather, they think that the existence of drivers like that is an immutable law of nature, can't be changed, and the only thing to do about it is to surround yourself with battle armor (IE buy an SUV)
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  9. #9
    Slob GrouchoWretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    One can only speculate on what type of decision outcome would have been made if the same grand jurists had to deliberate on an incident where a cyclist had caused the death of a motorist.
    I keep trying, but I just taco my front wheel against the car and go flying over the handlebars. Can't lay a glove on the driver.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch View Post
    I keep trying, but I just taco my front wheel against the car and go flying over the handlebars. Can't lay a glove on the driver.

  11. #11
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Are they dropping this case or will they revise the charges and try again. Juries are sometimes spooked by homicide charges and hesitate to step up.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    IT was a grand jury, who's role is to decide if there is sufficient reason to bring charges. As long as this kind of result happens, the just did not see them defense will continue to succeed. Frankly though, I have no clue as to how to change the public perception that these kind of things "just happen" when bicycles mix with cars. For the foreseeable future It is the case that when cycling, if you get run over it will be seen as an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of bicycling.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    Lots have cyclists have been killed "taking the lane"
    link please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch View Post
    I keep trying, but I just taco my front wheel against the car and go flying over the handlebars. Can't lay a glove on the driver.
    You need a longer lance and maybe some work on your jousting skills.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
    Are they dropping this case or will they revise the charges and try again. Juries are sometimes spooked by homicide charges and hesitate to step up.
    They already offered the grand jury three options on charges:
    - vehicular manslaughter
    - something about endangering other road users
    - unsafe passing of a cyclist.

    The jury refused to indict on any of the charges.

  16. #16
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    They already offered the grand jury three options on charges:
    - vehicular manslaughter
    - something about endangering other road users
    - unsafe passing of a cyclist.

    The jury refused to indict on any of the charges.
    Not like that the prosecution was swinging for the fences......... sucks to be a cyclist in that area.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch View Post
    I keep trying, but I just taco my front wheel against the car and go flying over the handlebars. Can't lay a glove on the driver.

    One could cause a motorist to swerve and cause the motorist to collide with an inanimate object or another vehicle.

    In a situation that a cyclist had a history of numerous traffic violations like the motorist in the OP article, then caused the death of a motorist due to the cyclist's poor riding habits, would the same grand jurists return with the same decision?

  18. #18
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    This is another example of why, I Take The Lane, along with wearing bright clothing, and using extra-bright lights.

  19. #19
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    It was a lousy DA. Any DA worth their salt can indict a ham sandwich.

  20. #20
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanza View Post
    It was a lousy DA. Any DA worth their salt can indict a ham sandwich.
    It's easier to indict a ham sandwich than someone who killed a biker.

  21. #21
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    IT was a grand jury, who's role is to decide if there is sufficient reason to bring charges.
    Yea, and the defense doesn't present anything in a grand jury hearing. Either the prosecution was really lazy or despite what the media reports, not enough hard evidence to take to court.

    And sad to say, a civil suit against the driver means nothing, it will never get paid, and they can be discharged in bankruptcy.

  22. #22
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    Right no point in looking at doing all we can do to make us safer on the road.
    Agreed!!

    We don't take the lane for kicks. We do it, as a form of being noticed in traffic.

  23. #23
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    Hopefully before faulting the grand jury's finding, some of those here who have faulted it or are thinking to do so, also have actually sorted through the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Laws to read the elements of the laws the driver was charged with, and which the grand jury was obliged to find the details of the incident met before it could indict the driver. Here's a link to a page with links to Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Law: http://www.dmv.org/ma-massachusetts/...hicle-code.php


    Accompanying the story linked in the OP's post, is a link to another story about the incident: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...ruck_that.html

    An excerpt from that story (Cunningham is Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham): "...The grand jury, said Cunningham, is not required to explain why it chose not to indict. ..."

    My experience has been that DA's and ADA's give grand jurists a presentation of the laws the suspect is charged with, by carefully specifying and explaining elements that each individual law contains, and which the jurists have to find grounds for, exist, before they can conclude 'true bill'. In my area, Washington County, Oregon, the text of the laws and their elements are such that they're able to be laid out simply enough to read and understand on about two or three pages for each law. The language of each law though, may be critical to whether the jurists can rightfully find grounds for a charge against a suspect. A single word in a whole paragraph or page can make the difference in whether grounds to indict will be valid. How it was with Massachusettes law regarding this incident and these jurists, is especially hard to say without looking at that state's law, and all the exhibits and testimony the jurists had presented to them.

  24. #24
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsbob View Post

    An excerpt from that story (Cunningham is Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham): "...The grand jury, said Cunningham, is not required to explain why it chose not to indict. ..."
    With that type of accountability, the jurists could have made their decision based on the cyclist wore the wrong jersey.

  25. #25
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    With that type of accountability, the jurists could have made their decision based on the cyclist wore the wrong jersey.
    Excuses, excuses

    If it was another vehicle driver, they would have chose to indict. But the death of a cyclist means nothing to them. If it had been a vehicle driver, involuntary manslaughter probably would have been the best they could get. But they would still go for it. When a cyclist ends up being the deceased, they will just wash their hands of the whole thing, and not file any charges.

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