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What do you call it, accident or negligence?

Posted Nov 09 2009 10:00pm

Gregory and Alexandra Bruehler (Left.) were both killed on October 1st when their tandem was stuck by an F150 Pick-up Truck on Texas Route 16, North of Helotes.

The driver of the truck, Gilbert John Sullaway Jr., is alleged to have veered off the road, and over corrected before striking the couple.

No traffic citations or criminal charges have been filed against Sullaway. The reason, police say it was an accident; he was driving at about 70 mph in the 65-mph zone and there was no evidence of intoxication.

Bull Crap! In my view, an accident is when a tire blows out or if there is some other mechanical failure, or there is a road hazard that causes a person to run into another.

If a driver is alert and he sees a cyclist ahead, common sense and decency says he should slow down to less that 70 mph. He should pass the cyclist giving at least 3 feet of space, more if he is traveling above 50mph.

If he hits the cyclist, it is negligence, pure and simple. The fact that he hits the cyclist is proof enough, no need for independent witnesses.

Some may put forward the defence that the cyclist swerved in front of them. That is the reason for not passing any less than 3 feet, to allow for such possibilities.

In this case, the tandem was dragged 200 yards under the vehicle; this was no glancing blow it was obviously a direct hit.

The couple left behind a 7 year old daughter. The dead couple's parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver; their only recourse obviously.

If police would start charging these reckless and dangerous drivers with Negligent Homicide, although it would not help the victims, it would eventually make some people, wake up, and take responsibility for their sloppy driving habits.

Above: Hundreds of cyclists from the San Antonio, TX area, attend a memorial for Gregory and Alexandra Bruehler

Police officers who work on homicides usually state that they do it to bring closure to the families left behind. Although these are not deliberate killings, they are caused by extreme negligence, and the grieving families also need some sense of justice.

What closure is there for a family when the person responsible walks away scott free as in this case.

I sometimes feel I am wasting my time writing about stuff like this; after all, I am preaching to the choir.

On the other hand I always feel there is a possibility that if enough cyclists like me who happen to write, draw attention to this problem, it may just filter down into the mainstream media.

Eventually our voice will be heard, and something will be done. It would be nice if I could live to see it


Read a full account here and here

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