Regular readers of this blog know that car accidents are a common theme. They cause injury or death to thousands of people each year across the state of California, just as they do in other states. But they aren't the only danger on the roads to pedestrians. In March of this year, a pedestrian suffered a fatal brain injury when a bicyclist ran into him.
The 71-year-old San Francisco man was walking east along Castro Street when he entered a crosswalk. Just then a bicyclist heading south entered the intersection and ran into the man, knocking him down. Both the pedestrian and the bicyclist were taken to a hospital, where the pedestrian's condition quickly deteriorated. He developed pneumonia and breathing problems, finally succumbing to his injuries four days later.
The bicyclist was treated and released from the hospital. Later that day, someone using the bicyclist's name posted a message about the collision in an online forum for a local cycling group. The poster said the stoplight had turned yellow just as he was approaching the intersection, "but I was already way too committed to stop."
The post continued, stating that just as the light turned red and the cyclist was moving through the intersection, the crosswalk filled up with people heading in both directions. The writer wished the pedestrian well, saying he hoped the man "ends up OK." The bicyclist was later identified by police and prosecutors are preparing to file charges in the man's death.
Although bikes may not travel as fast as cars, they still have the capacity to cause serious injuries in an accident, either to an out-of-control rider or other riders and pedestrians on the road. Had the cyclist in this case ridden in a controlled manner, he could have stopped in time instead of disobeying the traffic light. Instead, the victim's family must live without him, knowing the collision and resulting fatal injury were easily avoidable.
Source: KTVU.com, "Coroner: Elderly Castro cyclist victim's head injury led to his death," May 16, 2012
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