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'Kentucky Hammer' hit

Old 01-28-15, 08:50 AM
  #1  
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'Kentucky Hammer' hit

...and the driver will face no charges since "he didn't see Isaacs because of the sun's glare".


Darryl Isaacs, Louisville Heavy Hitter attorney, seriously hurt in crash
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Old 01-28-15, 09:12 AM
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Gee, when I go into glaring sun, I slow way down...
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Old 01-28-15, 09:39 AM
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Well, if anyone has a chance to get anything out of this, or make sure things are done correctly on the LE end of things, it will be an attorney...
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Old 01-28-15, 09:49 AM
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I've often thought about cycling River Road, but the narrowness, curves, lack of shoulder, and sometimes heavy traffic have kept me off it so far, though it is very scenic.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:18 AM
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sorry to hear about this.... what charges do you think should be applied?
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Old 01-28-15, 10:35 AM
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When I was a kid, I went around a corner 90 degree corner at night in the rain where the road turn from asphalt (well more like really old chip seal) to dirt right on the corner, spun out and wrapped my car around a tree. I got a ticket for violation of the basic speed law (driving faster than I could control my vehicle). I'd think he should at least get that. If he couldn't see well enough to avoid a cyclist, he should have been driving slower or not driving at all.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:50 AM
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ok, so you are not asking for criminal charges, just a traffic citation.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:50 AM
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I won't ride directly into the sun. If that's the situation I try to find a different route or wait or leave earlier. If forced I'd be watching my mirror like a hawk.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
ok, so you are not asking for criminal charges, just a traffic citation.
I don't know. Maybe something more severe than that given how badly the dude got hurt (not sure I'd go with assault with a deadly weapon which some of the more ardent A&Sers would suggest), but it just seems wrong that the driver didn't get any penalty at all from the cops.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Gee, when I go into glaring sun, I slow way down...
It amuses me how often people rear-end 18 wheelers full of scrap iron trying to turn into the scrapyard just down the road from us because they couldn't see the truck with the sun glare, but didn't think it was bad enough to slow down and look harder.

Then again, this guy's a lawyer who seems to specialize in taking bad drivers to the cleaners. I doubt criminal charges could ever amount to what he's going to be doing to that guy soon.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:35 AM
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Useful Sun Calculator if you are planning on ridding at sunrise/sunset.

-mr. bill
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Old 01-28-15, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I don't know. Maybe something more severe than that given how badly the dude got hurt (not sure I'd go with assault with a deadly weapon which some of the more ardent A&Sers would suggest), but it just seems wrong that the driver didn't get any penalty at all from the cops.
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was...civil court can be very expensive, so it is not likely that he will go unpunished.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
sorry to hear about this.... what charges do you think should be applied?
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
If he couldn't see well enough to avoid a cyclist, he should have been driving slower or not driving at all.
Usually, there's a blanket "driving too fast for conditions" statute, but I don't know that state's MV code well enough to cite anything. Maybe negligent driving, another civil penalty rather than misdemeanor. Hinges on intent, and I bet that was honestly not the case on the part of the driver.

And yes, having an aggrieved lawyer against you is probably not going to be fun. Especially since the kid was clearly at fault. His insurance company should be cringing right about now...

Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was...civil court can be very expensive, so it is not likely that he will go unpunished.
Yes, this.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was....
+1

These threads seem to always forget that. All machines fail... even the bio-mechanical machines... that operate the all-mechanical ones. People are just people. Criminal charges are for people who deliberately commit crimes... not for fallible people who accidently hurt themselves or others.

Some people won't be happy until the entire population is serving time prison... but are released for "work programs" during the day. Or that some innovation(s) makes cycling feel safe to them.

Motorist are... our Mothers, Fathers, siblings, neighbors, co-workers and first grade teachers. None of them wish us harm.. although some of them may hate us at times for the inconvenience we sometimes cause when we share the roads. They aren't criminals.

With all that said (typed)... he should have been charged with something.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:24 PM
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Yeah, the more I think about it, a ticket for driving too fast for the conditions ticket would be just about right. A blanket policy of giving those out every time a motorist is at fault and hits a cyclist or a ped (or a cyclist hits a ped), sounds like a good idea to me. It'd be very useful in all those cases where the victim isn't a personal injury lawyer, and make civil suits easier as it shows the criminal system says he was at fault in the incident. Plus, even if there wasn't a suit, the driver would be hit with higher insurance fees.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:31 PM
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About all that the driver can be charged with is failure to yield or failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. However, I would be willing to bet there will be a substantial civil suit filed to compensate the victim for his damage. Driver will not get off scot free.
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Old 01-28-15, 03:02 PM
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I'd think at a minimum the driver should get points.
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Old 01-28-15, 04:43 PM
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Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was...civil court can be very expensive, so it is not likely that he will go unpunished.
So you get in your 3000 lb 200+ horse power machine and mow somebody down and it's an "accident". At what point does driving this machine blind become reckless and not an "accident"? You started to get it right. His driving was stupid, a choice on his part and the courts should treat it as such.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was...civil court can be very expensive, so it is not likely that he will go unpunished.
I quite strongly disagree. Vehicles are quite deadly. A driver is responsible for the operation of their vehicle and they need to be held responsible for any results. If there is sun glare then the driver should slow down to a speed that allows them to operate their vehicle safely.

Drivers in the U.S. kill over 5 times as many bicycle riders as those in other countries. If drivers in Europe can avoid hitting bicycle riders then we should not expect less of drivers in the U.S.

Bicycling: Relatively Safe | streets.mn
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Old 01-29-15, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post

Motorist are... our Mothers, Fathers, siblings, neighbors, co-workers and first grade teachers. None of them wish us harm.. although some of them may hate us at times for the inconvenience we sometimes cause when we share the roads. They aren't criminals.
You obviously haven't met my family.
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Old 01-29-15, 05:28 AM
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Jim Nabors is from Alabama and Andy Griffith from North Carolina. Just wanted to point out the regional differences. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding a Kentuckian - especially if they are plowing me down with a car.
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Old 01-29-15, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident... so criminal charges are not warranted....the severity of an accident does not change what it was...civil court can be very expensive, so it is not likely that he will go unpunished.
There is such a thing as criminal negligence. Surely you are not suggesting that a baseline of criminality is bad intention? Stop and think of examples of crimes that include no intentionality at all. Consider drunk driving for example. Presumably the driver in such a case did not intend to hit anyone. Nevertheless it is a criminal matter. Felonious, in fact.

Jim
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Old 01-29-15, 07:33 AM
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All of this stems from our cultural norms - killing or maiming someone because "I didn't see them" is accepted as fine, so long as the driver isn't drunk, speeding, or high. The end result is the same - someone is seriously injured, dead, or disabled because a driver was going too fast for conditions. It comes back to the basic question - what is a human life valued at? Even if the driver didn't intend to plow into the Kentucky Hammer, the driver still acted in a negligent manner and caused serious injury. By not charging or punishing the driver with any kind of crime, the local authorities have essentially condoned this kind of behavior.

In Missouri, a bill has been introduced to impose fines and penalities to those who kill and injure by failing to yield (not just cyclists - pedestrians or other drivers too). I doubt it will pass, but it would hopefully assign consequences to those who negligenty kill or injure others.

Senate Bill 267

SB 267 - Currently, a person who causes physical injury or death to another person by failing to yield the right-of-way is subject to additional monetary penalties and driver's license suspensions. This act increases the maximum penalty for a person who causes physical injury to a person by failing to yield the right-of-way from $200 to $1,000, and requires a minimum penalty of $500 to be assessed. In the case of serious physical injury this act increases the maximum penalty from $500 to $3,000, and requires a minimum penalty of $1,000 to be assessed. The act further makes the 90 day suspension period mandatory rather than discretionary in the case of serious physical injury. This act increases the maximum penalty for a person who causes the death of another person by failing to yield the right-of-way from $1,000 to $10,000, and requires a minimum of $5,000 to be assessed. The act also requires the court to issue an order of suspension for a minimum of 6 months up to one year. In addition, the person who causes a fatality by failing to yield the right-of-way must successfully complete a driver-improvement program.
This act is identical to SB 696 (2014), HB 1149 (2014), SB 130 (2013), and SCS/SB 805 (2012).
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Old 01-29-15, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
There is such a thing as criminal negligence. Surely you are not suggesting that a baseline of criminality is bad intention? Stop and think of examples of crimes that include no intentionality at all. Consider drunk driving for example. Presumably the driver in such a case did not intend to hit anyone. Nevertheless it is a criminal matter. Felonious, in fact.

Jim
ok, criminal negligence, interesting idea... now lets think about what criminal negligence is... it is negligence beyond the "normal", something most folks would not do....in this case, driving into the sun, were there other folks doing it? Was this driver acting so differently than other drivers, to the point that it was "criminal"? If the sun was so bright, if the conditions were so bad, then what was the cyclist doing on that same road? What would normal folks do to avoid this? I am sure that we could all think of answers to that but what does the law in that state say about it at this time?
You mention drunk driving... cool... for many years drunk driving was not a crime... everybody knew it was not a good idea, but there was no law against it... finally mothers against drunk driving made it such a political focus that states began to pass laws about it and the media made it known to everybody... if you are old enough you can remember when the air waves were full of commercials about it... now it is a crime.. the idea being that when you are drunk you are impaired and do not realize that you are driving dangerously, but you ARE aware when you start drinking so it is considered that you make a conscious decision to drink and drive so you ARE responsible for what happens when you make that decision...
so for this type of accident to be considered a criminal act, the laws must be changed to make that an option... as of now that is not so....for it to be a criminal act it has to be considered that a reasonable person would anticipate the likelihood that something bad will happen if they do it...we can not decide AFTER something happens that the behavior should be a crime...a traffic citation is acceptable because we all understand that failing to control our speed is a violation of traffic regulations...but traffic citations are not criminal charges....we travel a slippery slope when we make stupid a crime.
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Old 01-29-15, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Unless he hit the guy on purpose, as stupid as his driving might be, it is IMO, still an accident
This was not an "accident." Accidents very rarely happen. This was a driver being negligent. That's not an accident. He was driving too fast for conditions, and driving in a direction where he could not see. Do you drive with your eyes closed? Does that make any sense to you whatsoever? If you drove with your eyes closed and hit someone, would you still claim that it was an "accident?"
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