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  1. #1
    Bent_Rider
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    Drunk driver kills cyclist in Sonoma

    This sucks.
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...AG3MC00511.DTL

    Notice how California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Christine Jacobs is quoted as saying that cyclists assume the risk.....but the risk in this case extends to everyone, pedestrian, cyclist, other motorists, people sitting in their front yards.
    At least the driver was immediately locked up.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>............................

    A female bicyclist who had apparently stopped to rest on the side of a country road in Sonoma County was killed Monday by a suspected drunken driver in a pickup truck, authorities said.

    The identity of the 43-year-old victim from Clearlake in Lake County was withheld Monday by the coroner's office.

    It is believed to be Sonoma County's third bicycle death linked to a drunken driver in the past year.

    Monday's accident occurred under sunny skies at about 1:10 p.m. on Mark West Springs Road near the Quietwater Road intersection outside Santa Rosa. The woman, whose family is in the process of moving from Clearlake to Sonoma County, was riding solo on a mountain bike.

    Joseph Lynchard, 72, of Santa Rosa, the driver of a silver 1997 Ford F- 150 pickup truck, was taken into custody after the accident. He was booked at the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony drunken driving, inflicting great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

    "We have every reason to believe that he (was) under the influence," said California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Christine Jacobs. She said that laboratory results of Lynchard's blood alcohol level were pending.

    A driver who witnessed the accident told investigators that the victim had stopped her bike on the right shoulder of the eastbound lane of Mark West Springs Road, a hilly road with a 15-foot-wide shoulder.

    "It was not clear whether she had gotten off the bike and was sitting on the ground, or straddling the bike to drink some water," Jacobs said. "He swerves off the roadway to the right and hits her. For whatever reason, he turned the vehicle that way. Near as we can tell, he drives about 50 yards up the road and pulls over."

    Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, with massive head injuries and a broken right leg. An autopsy is scheduled for this morning.

    It is unclear how fast the pickup truck was going, Jacobs said.

    Almost a year ago, 43-year-old winery marketing analyst Daniel O'Reilly of Agua Caliente was struck and killed by a drunken driver as he peddled home on Mark West Springs Road. William M. Albertson, 46, of Lake County was sentenced to 14 years in state prison for the crime.

    Nearly a year ago, on April 11, Easter Sunday, Alan Liu, a 31-year-old engineer and triathlete, was killed, and his companion, Jill Mason, 26, was paralyzed when they were hit by a car as they cycled along Highway 12 near Oakmont outside Santa Rosa. The driver, Santa Rosa lawyer Harvey Hereford, had drunk more than three times the legal limit at which a person is considered too intoxicated to drive. He was subsequently sentenced to eight years, eight months in state prison.

    "We have a lot of rural country roads out here, and people who ride their bikes on these country roads usually know the risk and assume the risk," Jacobs said. "They do the best to protect themselves, but can't protect themselves against everyone."

  2. #2
    pacifist-vegetarian biker
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    I ride curvy country roads with wide shoulders all the time and this really scares me. What's worse is that the guy who had drunk 3 times the legal limit and killed a triathlete and his riding companion got only 8 years. It seems to me that 8 years is nowhere near enoguh for such gross negalence.
    I know that I am at risk everything I am on the road, but I think its insane that people with multiple duis ever get their license back, or that someone ho ruined two lives will be free after 5 years with probation.

  3. #3
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by UCSDbikeAnarchy
    I ride curvy country roads with wide shoulders all the time and this really scares me. What's worse is that the guy who had drunk 3 times the legal limit and killed a triathlete and his riding companion got only 8 years. It seems to me that 8 years is nowhere near enoguh for such gross negalence.
    I know that I am at risk everything I am on the road, but I think its insane that people with multiple duis ever get their license back, or that someone ho ruined two lives will be free after 5 years with probation.
    My opinion exactly, 8 years is not enough, and permanent revocation of license.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Crazy Cyclist's Avatar
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    All I needed to read was the words "pickup truck" and I knew trouble was involved.

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Hey, here a motorist that deliberately ran a red light and "accidentally" killed a motorcyclist, got just two years.

    The driver was not drunk, he was late for work.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1335301/posts

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sandiego...&classchk=pass

  6. #6
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    Biking in rural areas seems so idyllic, compared to urban, but there are some really bad attitudes and angry people out there, too. One day I was headed west on Hwy 84 from Woodside to the coast, on my motorcycle. Lots of bicyclists out. The last few miles I was behind a guy in Tahoe and noticed he was coming unnecessarily close to the bicyclists on the shoulder, causing several to weave from the bow wave coming off his truck. When we got to Hwy 1, I pulled up next to him and a initiated a conversation, thinking he might be unaware. He was immediately defensive and aggressive about it and stated that maybe bikers "shouldn't be out on these narrow roads". Then drove off, presumably to continue his scare tactics. Unfortunately I did not have my cell phone with me at the time but as soon as I could get to a phone I called CHP and reported him and his behavior/comments. They went looking for him and also said his lic plate would go into their database in case anything happens.
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  7. #7
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroads
    Biking in rural areas seems so idyllic, compared to urban, but there are some really bad attitudes and angry people out there, too. One day I was headed west on Hwy 84 from Woodside to the coast, on my motorcycle. Lots of bicyclists out. The last few miles I was behind a guy in Tahoe and noticed he was coming unnecessarily close to the bicyclists on the shoulder, causing several to weave from the bow wave coming off his truck. When we got to Hwy 1, I pulled up next to him and a initiated a conversation, thinking he might be unaware. He was immediately defensive and aggressive about it and stated that maybe bikers "shouldn't be out on these narrow roads". Then drove off, presumably to continue his scare tactics. Unfortunately I did not have my cell phone with me at the time but as soon as I could get to a phone I called CHP and reported him and his behavior/comments. They went looking for him and also said his lic plate would go into their database in case anything happens.
    I ride that route all the time, returning on Tunitas Creek road. Thanks for speaking up. That is my fav route. Drivers like that make me pray for gas prices to go through the roof.

  8. #8
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    My opinion exactly, 8 years is not enough, and permanent revocation of license.
    Sadly this won't stop them from driving or driving drunk.
    Sick BubbleGum

  9. #9
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
    Sadly this won't stop them from driving or driving drunk.
    It will if they are locked up in prison.

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    It will if they are locked up in prison.
    Only for 8 years.

  11. #11
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry
    It will if they are locked up in prison.

    You got that right. It's when they get out that scares me. I bet that at-least 90% of all DUI drivers drive after with no license.
    Sick BubbleGum

  12. #12
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    "It is believed to be Sonoma County's third bicycle death linked to a drunken driver in the past year."

    Wow...sounds like there is a lot going wrong here if this is going by unaddressed by the county and law enforcement. Back in the day, that's where MADD came from. Wonder if anybody is talking to them?

  13. #13
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by rule
    "It is believed to be Sonoma County's third bicycle death linked to a drunken driver in the past year."

    Wow...sounds like there is a lot going wrong here if this is going by unaddressed by the county and law enforcement. Back in the day, that's where MADD came from. Wonder if anybody is talking to them?
    Sonoma and Lake countys are notorious for low life drunks, wife beating, domestic abuse, etc.
    Big wine growing region, with wine tasting spots galore.
    Used to be a wonderfull place to cycle tour.

    The CHIP's have been severly cut due to budget problems.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Trab's Avatar
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    Perhaps the lesson here is to take breaks completely off the road, if possible, as opposed to stopping on the shoulder of the road.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroads
    Biking in rural areas seems so idyllic, compared to urban, but there are some really bad attitudes and angry people out there, too. One day I was headed west on Hwy 84 from Woodside to the coast, on my motorcycle. Lots of bicyclists out. The last few miles I was behind a guy in Tahoe and noticed he was coming unnecessarily close to the bicyclists on the shoulder, causing several to weave from the bow wave coming off his truck. When we got to Hwy 1, I pulled up next to him and a initiated a conversation, thinking he might be unaware. He was immediately defensive and aggressive about it and stated that maybe bikers "shouldn't be out on these narrow roads". Then drove off, presumably to continue his scare tactics. Unfortunately I did not have my cell phone with me at the time but as soon as I could get to a phone I called CHP and reported him and his behavior/comments. They went looking for him and also said his lic plate would go into their database in case anything happens.
    I was told by someone in my club that there's a guy in a large black SUV in that area that is constantly doing that to cyclists. Supposedly the police have said they can't do anything aobut it unless they personally witness it. There's supposed to be a website somewhere that has complaints on it about this guy.

  16. #16
    kwv
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
    Sadly this won't stop them from driving or driving drunk.
    Wasn't there a case where a Hollywood star who got caught drunk driving got gaol (jail) time, community service, loss of licence, a fine and money to be given to a community group.

    Also in the Northern Countries you get lost of licence for 6 months and gaol time for first time drunk 2nd time you get lost of licence for life and 12 months gaol so it is a shame Judges in Australia give a slap on the wrist to drink drivers and people who speed.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chongo's Avatar
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    That's really sad. I keep think that that's the way I'm going to go. I keep reminding my wife to remember to collect on the life insurance. I had a friend who was killed by a drunk who's license had been revoked. Very sad. The really scary thing is that we now have to contend with drunks and drivers dialing cell phones.

  18. #18
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwv
    Wasn't there a case where a Hollywood star who got caught drunk driving got gaol (jail) time, community service, loss of licence, a fine and money to be given to a community group.

    Also in the Northern Countries you get lost of licence for 6 months and gaol time for first time drunk 2nd time you get lost of licence for life and 12 months gaol so it is a shame Judges in Australia give a slap on the wrist to drink drivers and people who speed.
    Yes there was I can't think of the name.

    Hollywood stars. Are they stars? or is that person we think to be star just a human?
    Sick BubbleGum

  19. #19
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    All of this would end pretty quickly if only we'd bring back cruel and unusual punishment.
    Like having a finger cut off every time you run someone over because you were speeding, drunk, inattentive, etc.

    Or have a federal mandate requiring a giant metal spike installed in the middle of the steering wheel. That oughta scare some people into slowing down.

  20. #20
    Senior Member OldShacker's Avatar
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    Does it not feel like the laws protect the ones that kill cyclist? Here in Ohio we have Drunks that have been in 20 accidents or more and yet the Judges let them walk or I should say drive! I feel that the Judges should be held accountable for letting killers free to kill again.
    We here in Ohio had a tragedy when a fellow cyclist Bob Bachtel of Akron, Ohio was killed while competing in the Dayton Cycling Club's annual Calvin's 12-hour challenge.
    Mr. Bachtel was struck by a motorist who crossed a double yellow line and passed a group of cyclist who were making a left turn. . Mr. Bachtel was riding with several members of his club when the accident happened. The driver was not immediately cited.
    Ride well and be kind to others
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldShacker View Post
    Does it not feel like the laws protect the ones that kill cyclist? Here in Ohio we have Drunks that have been in 20 accidents or more and yet the Judges let them walk or I should say drive! I feel that the Judges should be held accountable for letting killers free to kill again.
    We here in Ohio had a tragedy when a fellow cyclist Bob Bachtel of Akron, Ohio was killed while competing in the Dayton Cycling Club's annual Calvin's 12-hour challenge.
    Mr. Bachtel was struck by a motorist who crossed a double yellow line and passed a group of cyclist who were making a left turn. . Mr. Bachtel was riding with several members of his club when the accident happened. The driver was not immediately cited.
    Just to add a few more details. Mr. Johnson was doing 70 mph on a rural highway, passing a line of about 7 cyclists riding next to the yellow line. At least 3 of the cyclists were signaling for a left turn. I rode on and off road (mostly off road) with my dad for about 10 years before the accident and he was always an extremely cautious rider, instilling the same trait in me. Hence the reason I am extremely cautious around any kind of bike.

    Also as far as punishment goes, I think the plantiff in this case recieved a sentence of 6 months in jail, which most of that was a suspended sentence. I believe he served like 2 weeks of this sentence. He also recieved a pretty heafty fine, some community service, and a 5 year license suspension. The license suspension was supposed to include no work priviledges, and he ended up with work priviledges.

    Do I think they look out for 2 wheelers with the laws, no they don't. I really believe that this punishment does not fit the crime. Yes, I am a little biased on this subject, but he broke at least 2 traffic laws causing this accident to happen. He was speeding to start with, then he crossed completely into oncoming traffic. All this lead to the tragic dimise of Robert Bachtel. I don't care what happens, if you cause a death because of your neglegence behind the wheel then you should not be allowed behind the wheel at all.

  22. #22
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boarderlib View Post
    Just to add a few more details. Mr. Johnson was doing 70 mph on a rural highway, passing a line of about 7 cyclists riding next to the yellow line. At least 3 of the cyclists were signaling for a left turn. I rode on and off road (mostly off road) with my dad for about 10 years before the accident and he was always an extremely cautious rider, instilling the same trait in me. Hence the reason I am extremely cautious around any kind of bike.

    Also as far as punishment goes, I think the plantiff in this case recieved a sentence of 6 months in jail, which most of that was a suspended sentence. I believe he served like 2 weeks of this sentence. He also recieved a pretty heafty fine, some community service, and a 5 year license suspension. The license suspension was supposed to include no work priviledges, and he ended up with work priviledges.

    Do I think they look out for 2 wheelers with the laws, no they don't. I really believe that this punishment does not fit the crime. Yes, I am a little biased on this subject, but he broke at least 2 traffic laws causing this accident to happen. He was speeding to start with, then he crossed completely into oncoming traffic. All this lead to the tragic dimise of Robert Bachtel. I don't care what happens, if you cause a death because of your neglegence behind the wheel then you should not be allowed behind the wheel at all.
    Is this NEW information that has just come out after 7 years?
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Is this NEW information that has just come out after 7 years?
    No, this is all information that was available during the trial. It just goes to show that the courts really are not protecting cyclists.

  24. #24
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist View Post
    All I needed to read was the words "pickup truck" and I knew trouble was involved.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

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