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Old 06-16-11, 02:32 PM   #1
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Drunk Driver Injures 11 Cyclists

(Reuters) - A motorist accused of driving drunk plowed her car into a group of bicyclists early on Thursday, injuring 11 of them, at least one critically, Los Angeles police said.

The driver, identified as Christina Dahab, 27, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to Los Angeles Police Department officer Lyle Knight.

Knight said a group of 15 to 20 cyclists were riding together shortly before 2 a.m. local time through Culver City, near Los Angeles, when Dahab's car ran into them.

He said one victim, an adult male, was critically hurt, and 10 others suffered less serious injuries.

All 11 were taken to various area hospitals.

Local television station KCBS-TV reported that about 100 cyclists in all were riding together at the time of the accident.

100 riders at 2am? This must be some organized event like Mojave by Moonlight... anybody know?

edit - Ah, checked the SoCal forums. Thanks anyway.

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Old 06-16-11, 03:04 PM   #2
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Midnight Riadzz, a Korean bicycling group during one of their weekly midnight rides.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
Midnight Riadzz, a Korean bicycling group during one of their weekly midnight rides.
I don't think the bicyclists are actually Korean (not that this is important). The ride just started in a neighborhood known as "Koreatown".

Nighttime rides are probably popular in LA because of the heat and smog during the day.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:27 PM   #4
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The "alleged" drunk was also alleged to have been talking on a cell phone when she plowed the stopped cyclists.

What a charmer.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:50 PM   #5
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A report on KCBS radio thismorning said that a cop on the scene that the cyclists were also partially at fault because they were stopped in the middle of the road waiting for others to catch up.

Since this has at least two layers of hearsay between what actually happened and what was reported (not to mention what my experience tells me is the average reporter's uncanny ability to get the facts wrong), one can only guess at what really went on. My point here is not to start a rant against the cop (who was not heard in the report), but to remind us all to be careful out there - not just where we ride, but where we stop. Cars don't hit cyclists only when the cyclist is in motion.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:21 AM   #6
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Bars shut down around 1:30-1:45AM since they can not serve alcohol after 2:00 AM, so that's when all the drunks are out. Culver City at 2:00 AM ain't the safest place in the world either as that's when the stupid gang bangers come out. Sounds like a bad time a place to be riding period!
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Old 06-17-11, 01:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
The "alleged" drunk was also alleged to have been talking on a cell phone when she plowed the stopped cyclists. What a charmer.
Very sad ...
Driver crashes into pack of Los Angeles bicyclists.
By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Thu Jun 16

LOS ANGELES A driver plowed into a group of bicyclists on a midnight ride Thursday in a suspected drunken driving crash that injured 11 riders, at least one critically, police said. A group of about 100 cyclists were on a ride about 8 miles south of downtown Los Angeles when they were struck by a Honda Civic shortly before 2 a.m.

Some bicyclists told KTTV a woman driving the car appeared to be using a cell phone before the crash. They said she slowed down then sped up and slammed into the group, sending some riders flying into the air and dragging at least one under her car.

Some witnesses said the car didn't stop as it mowed down a row of riders. Television reports showed the car's smashed front end and shattered windshield. Christine Elizabeth Dahab, 27, of Los Angeles was booked for investigation of driving under the influence and remained jailed on $15,000 bail, according to a Sheriff's Department website.

An email message to Dahab from The Associated Press was not immediately returned, and no message could be left at a phone number listed on her Facebook page. The crash injured 11 riders, including at least one person who was hospitalized in critical condition and expected to survive, said Officer Jacquelyn Abad.

The car turned from a blind corner and hit riders who had stopped in a traffic lane to wait for others to catch up, said Sgt. David Krumer, the LAPD's bicycle liaison. There were no skid marks so it was difficult to determine how fast the car was moving, Krumer said. He could not confirm reports that a streetlight in the area was out.

"It appears that they were stopped in traffic" and some who had dismounted to chat with friends technically were pedestrians, Krumer said. Bicyclists have a legal right to use the right traffic lane unless they impede traffic, and pedestrians are barred from traffic lanes, Krumer said. Violators potentially could be cited, he added.

However, drivers have a legal responsibility to exercise caution regardless of the circumstances, Krumer said. "They're not at fault simply for being out there in the roadway," he said of the cyclists. The riders were taking part in a weekly midnight ride starting in Koreatown that was advertised on the urban cycling website Midnight Ridazz. Night rides by loose confederations of riders have become increasingly popular in congested Los Angeles.

"There's no traffic so you can more easily get a group of 50 to 60 riders together and stay together as a group," Krumer said. However, it is not necessarily safer than daytime rides. "If you're driving at 2 in the morning, that's when all the DUI drivers are likely to be out," he said.

Some rides have reputations for being rowdy or quirky while others attract more straightforward riders, Krumer said. Krumer said he hasn't seen an increase in reported accidents involving cyclists, but there can be tense relations with motorists on the crowded Los Angeles streets. "Everybody wants their particular real estate on the roadway," he said. "Some drivers see bicyclists as taking away space and slowing them. Cyclists sometimes see drivers as maniacs going at unsafe speed."
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