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Udo is gone. Story about cyclists and a professional driver and the sad results.

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Udo is gone. Story about cyclists and a professional driver and the sad results.

Old 11-16-14, 12:02 PM
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Udo is gone. Story about cyclists and a professional driver and the sad results.

Deadly Camp Pendleton Bus Crash Investigation Revealed | NBC 7 San Diego

Or if you prefer to read the story...
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2...-udo-was-gone/

This was a case of three cyclists, riding along a quiet roadway with no other traffic, on a clear sunny day, being hit by a transit bus.

The real question is what was the bus driver doing at the time of the collision. The transit district refuses to release video from the 6 cameras on board, but some still photos have been obtained that show the riders in single file, no oncoming traffic and plenty of room for a bus to move over.

Did the driver even realize the cyclists were there? Was the driver otherwise distracted?
Initial reports said the driver swerved to avoid the cyclists, and then swerved back to avoid oncoming traffic. The attorney for the cyclists (he has seen the video) says the video shows nothing of this nature. There was no on-coming traffic at all.

Duquette says published reports stating the bus swerved to miss the cyclists then sideswiped them trying to avoid oncoming traffic are false.
“The bus impacted the rear end of all the bicycles it was a frontal impact,” Duquette said.
Photos obtained by NBC 7 indicate just that.
The damage is on the right front bumper of the bus. Still photos, made from onboard cameras, were filed along with a claim for damages against the transit district and driver Gamal Mohamed Hamouda.
“This was a clear sunny day on a straight road with clear visibility,” Duquette said.
The photos are time stamped. They indicate four seconds before impact the cyclists are off to the right and single file with no oncoming traffic. At 12:49:41 the bus approaches the riders with still no other traffic. Then at 12:49:42 the bus collides with the riders.
What was the driver doing at the time?
The North County Transit District (NCTD) denied our request for a copy of the video tape or we would show you. Could it be a case of distracted driving? Duquette has seen the tape.
“The bus driver clearly had an object in his hand up to the right side of his face and or in front of him at the time just before impact,” Duquette said.
Disclosure: Richard Duquette is a local attorney that defends cyclists in car bike collisions



Three cyclists... bright clothing, sunny day, professional driver.

To the best of my knowledge, no charges filed. Certainly this is a violation of the CA 3 foot law, and perhaps reckless driving... or more. Civil cases are pending.
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Old 11-16-14, 12:24 PM
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This is just a horrible case of being "a sleep at the wheel". Missing one cyclist at night is bad enough, but three in broad daylight is inexcusable, and I only hope that this bus driver has quit driving professionally.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
This is just a horrible case of being "a sleep at the wheel". Missing one cyclist at night is bad enough, but three in broad daylight is inexcusable, and I only hope that this bus driver has quit driving professionally.
I hope this bus driver is jailed or fined, and the bus company has to write some darn big checks. The whole incident was recorded on the video cams inside of the bus, and the bus company is keeping that data close to chest.

It is quite interesting that the original stories that came out were totally wrong... both the video evidence and the damage on the bus all should point to other conclusions... yet there is denial and cover-up.
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Old 11-16-14, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post

It is quite interesting that the original stories that came out were totally wrong... both the video evidence and the damage on the bus all should point to other conclusions... yet there is denial and cover-up.
In the numbers of single auto/cyclist collisions, where the driver ends up being the only viable witness, this incident highlights on what really happened versus what the driver said had happened. Though a considerable effort can be involved at times, a video recording of one's bicycle ride can make all the difference in what could have been an otherwise one sided testimonial.

What I would like, along with many others, is seeing the video of the bus driver just before, during, and after the collision incident.
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Old 11-16-14, 02:01 PM
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If they had been riding three abreast and using the entire lane they likely would not have been hit. The sad reality is that drivers are looking for large objects in the lane; cars, trucks, and motorcycles, they aren't looking for small objects on the righthand 10% of the lane. They should be. And we should do everything we can to get them to do so. But the reality is that getting them to do so is a tall and likely impossible order, especially on roads like this where a driver can look quickly ahead, see nothing in 99% of the lane, and go back to their thoughts (no cell phone is necessary for distracted driving though they certainly increase the likelihood).
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Old 11-16-14, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
If they had been riding three abreast and using the entire lane they likely would not have been hit. The sad reality is that drivers are looking for large objects in the lane; cars, trucks, and motorcycles, they aren't looking for small objects on the righthand 10% of the lane.
Being a professional driver for a large passenger coach, this person should be trained in knowing where the right side of his vehicle is, and in fully scanning 100 percent of the roadway for any object that might be in his path, this incident is totally inexcusable on the driver's part, the passengers were more alert than the driver was.
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Old 11-16-14, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Being a professional driver for a large passenger coach, this person should be trained in knowing where the right side of his vehicle is, and in fully scanning 100 percent of the roadway for any object that might be in his path, this incident is totally inexcusable on the driver's part, the passengers were more alert than the driver was.
I agree 100%. I also think that I should be able to eat anything and everything I want. There is a lot of room for improvement in drivers but even in the countries with the safest roads (design, drivers, and everything else that produces relatively low fatalities) distracted driving kills a lot of people and bicycle riders in roadways are high on the list of every country except a tiny few.
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Old 11-16-14, 03:44 PM
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Read the article in the Reader last night and rode past the crash site this morning. Sad.
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Old 11-17-14, 11:20 AM
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Just maybe this makes a case for much stricter regulation of driving jobs--national standards, frequent re-testing of drivers, limits on driving hours that are actually enforced. This may partially be the very bad result of our business culture infecting safety related jobs and the imperative to keep services cheap. Damnit, manage transportation companies and services with safety ahead of efficiency, pay drivers enough so they don't "need" overtime and don't want to moonlight and let the services cost what they have to.
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Old 11-17-14, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
Just maybe this makes a case for much stricter regulation of driving jobs--national standards, frequent re-testing of drivers, limits on driving hours that are actually enforced. This may partially be the very bad result of our business culture infecting safety related jobs and the imperative to keep services cheap. Damnit, manage transportation companies and services with safety ahead of efficiency, pay drivers enough so they don't "need" overtime and don't want to moonlight and let the services cost what they have to.
everything you suggest is already a reality except for charging enough to take the pressure of of drivers to "be more efficient", the fact of the matter is there's a shortage of qualified drivers and people willing to enter the profession, so overtime is forced. The number of hours for non logged drivers needs to be reduced, The 14 hours a day that's allowed is too much.

I suspect the incident in question must be distracted driving, sitting up high makes seeing cyclists and pedestrians out front much easier in daylight.
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Old 11-17-14, 12:24 PM
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Little confused. Is this story a year old? If so what was the result of any punishment for the driver?

How has the family fared since this tragic act of carelessness?
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Old 11-17-14, 06:25 PM
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drove 16 hours on interstate highways last week, and the number of motorists that were texting was off the charts. I hope that the number of people that are willing to do that on a road shared with bicycles is somewhat less, but the idiots are still out there
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Old 11-18-14, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
In the numbers of single auto/cyclist collisions, where the driver ends up being the only viable witness, this incident highlights on what really happened versus what the driver said had happened. Though a considerable effort can be involved at times, a video recording of one's bicycle ride can make all the difference in what could have been an otherwise one sided testimonial.

What I would like, along with many others, is seeing the video of the bus driver just before, during, and after the collision incident.
I agree... yet the transit company is holding that video... apparently not willing to let the truth speak for itself. I wonder in the end, if it somehow disappears.
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Old 11-18-14, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by look566 rider View Post
Little confused. Is this story a year old? If so what was the result of any punishment for the driver?

How has the family fared since this tragic act of carelessness?
Eight months after the crash on Stuart Mesa Road in Camp Pendleton, a settlement was announced against the bus company in favor of Duquette's client, John Edwards.
The financial terms of Edwards' settlement were not disclosed, but Duquette says it doesn't just include money.
Source: Cyclist Hit by North County Bus Reaches Settlement | NBC 7 San Diego
Follow us: @NBCsandiego on Twitter | NBCSanDiego on Facebook

Edwards was one of the three cyclists hit. He insisted that as part of the settlement, the bus company will have to team with the San Diego Bike Coalition to change its safety policy when it comes to sharing the road with bikers.

Still, no word on what actually happened... as the transit company still refuses to release the videos.
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Old 11-18-14, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Source: Cyclist Hit by North County Bus Reaches Settlement | NBC 7 San Diego
Follow us: @NBCsandiego on Twitter | NBCSanDiego on Facebook

Edwards was one of the three cyclists hit. He insisted that as part of the settlement, the bus company will have to team with the San Diego Bike Coalition to change its safety policy when it comes to sharing the road with bikers.

Still, no word on what actually happened... as the transit company still refuses to release the videos.

Thank you.

Any justice system action on the bus driver?
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Old 11-18-14, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I agree... yet the transit company is holding that video... apparently not willing to let the truth speak for itself. I wonder in the end, if it somehow disappears.
I imagine the lawyers have all video / photographic evidence in this horrifying accident. Evidence won't be released to the general public if there is pending litigation.
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Old 11-18-14, 04:40 PM
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I would honestly think that the authorities have possession of that video and it is in the middle of an investigation.

Let's not sink to the level of Yahoo! comment logic, please.
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Old 11-18-14, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I would honestly think that the authorities have possession of that video and it is in the middle of an investigation.

Let's not sink to the level of Yahoo! comment logic, please.
This is A&S. I think you meant to say "rise to the level".
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Old 11-18-14, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I would honestly think that the authorities have possession of that video and it is in the middle of an investigation.
This is a public agency staffed by civil servants. Servants of the people. The *authorities* are the citizens who fund this agency. Every time something like this has gone to the courts FOIA has trumped the imaginary "authority" of petty bureaucrats.
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Old 11-18-14, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
This is a public agency staffed by civil servants. Servants of the people. The *authorities* are the citizens who fund this agency. Every time something like this has gone to the courts FOIA has trumped the imaginary "authority" of petty bureaucrats.
By that logic, policemen have no power over civilians since their salaries are being paid for with taxpayer dollars and technically that makes us the boss.

Or public prosecutors have no attorney-client privileges since everything they do must be laid bare to the public if so demanded.
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Old 11-18-14, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Three cyclists... bright clothing, sunny day, professional driver.
Stuff happens. Cycling on the highway is inherently dangerous anytime of the day or night. I am never surprised to peek into A&S and see a new collection of white-washed crosses at the side of the road. There are so many different ways to get distracted driving a motor vehicle and they are so proficient at killing one another that we have to expect some of our cycling comrades will be among those casualties.

Some here make fun of me when I compare cycling on USA highways and roadways to war. Traveling through hostile territory, outgunned and outnumbered, can only end badly for many who don't take that activity seriously. We have no control over the other guy. All we can do is try to stay out of the line of fire. I wonder if any of the cyclists had rear-view mirrors, not that would make much difference if a motor vehicle drifted to the right at the last second.
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Old 11-18-14, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Stuff happens. Cycling on the highway is inherently dangerous anytime of the day or night. I am never surprised to peek into A&S and see a new collection of white-washed crosses at the side of the road. There are so many different ways to get distracted driving a motor vehicle and they are so proficient at killing one another that we have to expect some of our cycling comrades will be among those casualties.

Some here make fun of me when I compare cycling on USA highways and roadways to war. Traveling through hostile territory, outgunned and outnumbered, can only end badly for many who don't take that activity seriously. We have no control over the other guy. All we can do is try to stay out of the line of fire. I wonder if any of the cyclists had rear-view mirrors, not that would make much difference if a motor vehicle drifted to the right at the last second.
Not just any motor vehicle... a city bus... North County Transit. Professional driver. Not a highway either, a quiet local road through a military base. Good sightlines, bright sunny day.
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Old 11-18-14, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Not just any motor vehicle... a city bus... North County Transit. Professional driver. Not a highway either, a quiet local road through a military base. Good sightlines, bright sunny day.
Originally Posted by joeybike;
I compare cycling on USA highways and roadways to war.
If motor vehicles are involved, cyclists are at risk of getting steamrolled almost anywhere. It is a risk some of us accept and prepare for, and some others think nothing about. The odds of a city bus sneaking up on me on a clear, sunny day with clear sight lines and rolling over me is close to zero. This is because I assume everybody coming up from behind is going to run me over. I keep a watchful eye in my eyeglass mirror and ditch accordingly.

I don't think getting killed by accident is any better than getting killed on purpose. I think it helps to act like the next one is THE one that is going to take me out.
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Old 11-18-14, 11:39 PM
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I hope the cyclists' recover. Not just from their physical injuries. But also from the emotional ignorance on the part of the bus district for not releasing the videos'.
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Old 11-19-14, 02:08 AM
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I was met Udo through cyclocross.
A race he organized is now named in his honor.
Odd that there has been a settlement before the criminal case is done.
I think this would be a federal case as it took place on Camp Pendleton, right?
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