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Suv / Bicycle Collision July 3 On E Natoma


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#1 fatfenders

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:10 PM

I am a 71 year old male Folsom resident. On the morning of July 3, I was spinning south on E Natoma. As I approached Bowan Dr(I think), at 12 mph, in the bike lane, heading south, an SUV slowed and stopped (or very nearly) at the stop sign to my right. Everything appeared normal. I continued on. When I was about half way across the intersection, the driver punched it as if I were not there and T-boned me. I was catapulted across her hood, over the right front fender and slammed onto the pavement. With a life time of adventuring, fortunately I "know how to fall". No broken bones, but an injured right elbow and wrenched back, right side.
The Folsom police and EMT's were there VERY FAST and were very professional. I was impressed. Because of the nature of this collision I never even got the name of the woman who hit me. It has now been 10 days and no police report has been filed yet. They did tell me she had Farmers insurance. Farmers told me not to repair the bicycle until they had seen it. Of course, they cannot act until a police report has been filed. To add insult to injury (literally), I was told she was not even cited.
After researching auto/bicycle accidents I am getting a real bad feeling about all this. If anyone knows someone who witnessed this collision or has any other information or opinions they would be appreciated. As an example, as I lay there with my 'bell rung", some anonymous woman stayed with me until the EMTs arrived, holding my head still in case of any serious injury. I would really like to be able to say "Thanks" to her.

#2 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:58 PM

First, sorry to hear about your crash and I'm glad you were not hurt too badly. Second, the street is Bowen (close). Third, based on your account, the driver certainly should have been cited at least for failure to yield to ensure that their insurance would cover. I would follow up with the FPD and inquire why she was not. It is way too common that motorists are not cited after hitting bicyclists or pedestrians, and it results in endless headaches (and other pains) for the injured cyclist. Did they take a statement from you at the scene? Did anyone take pictures? Probably, she told them you came out of nowhere and she just didn't see you. That is not a legitimate reason not to cite someone, but it happens.

If the police did not cite her, I would consider engaging a lawyer. There are a couple around that specialize in bike crashes. PM me if you want more info (I don't have names handy, but can get them).

For the rest of you, this is one reason why you will often see bicyclists hugging the left side of the bike lane, especially approaching intersections. The closer you are to the curb, the less likely you are to be seen by a turning motorist, and they are the ones who will get you, not the car coming from behind (note, on rural two-lane roads, the opposite can be true).

BTW, this intersection is soon to be signalized. But it sounds like that wouldn't have helped you any.

#3 ducky

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:20 PM

While I agree with Tony it's dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians out there, it's not always the motorist's fault.

About a month ago I was driving down School Street approaching the Wales intersection when I came upon a man about the age of the OP riding a bicycle. He was riding just right of the middle so as not to be passed. I figured that he was planning on turning left once we got to Wales so I hung back and let him ride in front of me even though he was kind of weaving and taking his time. When we get to the stop sign there is a car already stopped to our right with his left-turn blinker on. The car proceeds. The bicyclist blows the stop sign and rides through the middle of the intersection. The poor guy in the car had to slam on his brakes to avoid him and the bicyclist just continues on, going around the car that is only 2 feet in front of him, as though he had done nothing wrong.

To the OP, I am very sorry to hear about your accident. I am shocked that there was no police report if there were injuries.

#4 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

While I agree with Tony it's dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians out there, it's not always the motorist's fault.

About a month ago I was driving down School Street approaching the Wales intersection when I came upon a man about the age of the OP riding a bicycle. He was riding just right of the middle so as not to be passed. I figured that he was planning on turning left once we got to Wales so I hung back and let him ride in front of me even though he was kind of weaving and taking his time. When we get to the stop sign there is a car already stopped to our right with his left-turn blinker on. The car proceeds. The bicyclist blows the stop sign and rides through the middle of the intersection. The poor guy in the car had to slam on his brakes to avoid him and the bicyclist just continues on, going around the car that is only 2 feet in front of him, as though he had done nothing wrong.

Indeed, there are plenty of bicyclists out there being stupid, but that does not appear to be the case here. So, if you're riding your bike in a bike lane (going the right direction) and someone pulls out of a street and hits you, it might be reasonable to expect that person to be cited. Of course, we clearly don't have all the facts here, so its possible there is more to the story, but, on the surface, it seems that the motorist should be responsible in this case.

And, it is really necessary that every time a bicyclist posts about a specific incident involving a motorist, people feel the need to turn it into a bicyclist-bashing thread? Really, the guy just got hit by a car, and now we're telling unrelated stories about bad bicyclists!

#5 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:31 PM

Nothing in the Police Log from July 3rd. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but might mean that they are still considering a citation.

#6 fatfenders

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:34 PM

Tony, Thanks for all that. As I lay there on the pavement it just never occurred to me to get some photos(I have wondered if this might be SOP with the investigating officers???). I did have the EMT take some images of me with my cell phone in the ER though. A FPD officer interviewed me there in the ER and, of course, I gave him my version of the event. He indicated at that time that she admitted fault. (I have since found that often times folks seem to change their tune subsequently). He also gave me a case number so I guess the assumption there is that, eventually, a report will be filed. I want to add that I have been a cyclist all my life, with, as examples, commuting to work for years, solo unassisted trips from coast to coast, border to border, Europe, etc. I have never so much as scratched a fender until now. I KNOW HOW TO RIDE ON ROADS. A seasoned rider knows nearly all the little clues, the indicators, how to be situationally aware. I have re-lived this collision over and over. I, like anyone who rides a lot, have been in that exact situation a zillion times (up to the point of collision) and at some point you just have to go on faith. Here is what I believe happened, based on hearing her state to someone (don't have a clue, who) within moments after the collision that she had been on her cell phone(she was semi-hysterical and just kind of rambling)). She was occupied with her cell, looked up and to her left as she slowed to the stop sign but I was not in view yet. Probably kept at it for a few moments, look up again, after I was to the right of where she was focusing, looked at her cell again (thinking she was clear) and punched it. Of course, this is all pure speculation, but this, or something like it, does seem to fit. And in regards to legal assistance, that is not my first knee jerk reaction, but virtually everyone with any experience in these matters all say the same thing... get a lawyer.

#7 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:51 PM

Tony, Thanks for all that. As I lay there on the pavement it just never occurred to me to get some photos(I have wondered if this might be SOP with the investigating officers???). I did have the EMT take some images of me with my cell phone in the ER though. A FPD officer interviewed me there in the ER and, of course, I gave him my version of the event. He indicated at that time that she admitted fault. (I have since found that often times folks seem to change their tune subsequently). He also gave me a case number so I guess the assumption there is that, eventually, a report will be filed. I want to add that I have been a cyclist all my life, with, as examples, commuting to work for years, solo unassisted trips from coast to coast, border to border, Europe, etc. I have never so much as scratched a fender until now. I KNOW HOW TO RIDE ON ROADS. A seasoned rider knows nearly all the little clues, the indicators, how to be situationally aware. I have re-lived this collision over and over. I, like anyone who rides a lot, have been in that exact situation a zillion times (up to the point of collision) and at some point you just have to go on faith. Here is what I believe happened, based on hearing her state to someone (don't have a clue, who) within moments after the collision that she had been on her cell phone(she was semi-hysterical and just kind of rambling)). She was occupied with her cell, looked up and to her left as she slowed to the stop sign but I was not in view yet. Probably kept at it for a few moments, look up again, after I was to the right of where she was focusing, looked at her cell again (thinking she was clear) and punched it. Of course, this is all pure speculation, but this, or something like it, does seem to fit. And in regards to legal assistance, that is not my first knee jerk reaction, but virtually everyone with any experience in these matters all say the same thing... get a lawyer.

Sounds like you're about 20 years ahead of me. Toured coast to coast; just got back from a four day tour in the (VERY HOT) midwest. Been commuting for 20 years, and teach bike safety. Can I stop short of the t-bone?

As they always say after car crashes, its a good idea to see a lawyer and a doctor. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, and, even if you don't plan to sue, the lawyer will have some good advice on what to do to protect your rights just in case. There's also an excellent book called "Bicycling and the Law" by Bob Mionske that has a chapter (as I recall) on what to do if you get hit.

Hope you recover quickly and fully.

#8 fatfenders

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:04 PM

There's also an excellent book called "Bicycling and the Law" by Bob Mionske that has a chapter (as I recall) on what to do if you get hit.

Hope you recover quickly and fully.


Tony, Thats too funny! One of the first things I did (once I was able to hobble over to my computer) was to Google "Car / bicycle accident". First hit was Bob's "bicyclelaw.com". Called, talked to him for nearly an hour. Great guy. (And I generally don't like lawyers LOL). He asked for my address and indicated he would send me that book , free of charge!.

#9 mac_convert

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:50 PM

I believe the law states a car is not supposed to enter the crossing lane with a pedestrian inside. I would assume that also applies to bikers, but then I think bikers are technically supposed to walk the bike across the street. I am an occasional rider and do not walk my bike across a street nor would I expect to see it while driving around town. :) I am glad you are okay!

#10 old soldier

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

this is why I only bike on the trails..the only risk there is a little kid that goes a little wide on the corner or at time the wanta be hot cyclist that forgets to say "on your left". it never happens that the bike wins in a car bike collision

#11 ducky

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:47 PM

Indeed, there are plenty of bicyclists out there being stupid, but that does not appear to be the case here. So, if you're riding your bike in a bike lane (going the right direction) and someone pulls out of a street and hits you, it might be reasonable to expect that person to be cited. Of course, we clearly don't have all the facts here, so its possible there is more to the story, but, on the surface, it seems that the motorist should be responsible in this case.

And, it is really necessary that every time a bicyclist posts about a specific incident involving a motorist, people feel the need to turn it into a bicyclist-bashing thread? Really, the guy just got hit by a car, and now we're telling unrelated stories about bad bicyclists!


C'mon, Tony. I wasn't bicycle-bashing. Merely relating something that recently happened - just like you did on the other thread about an accident that happened in front of your office and how scary motorists are. I could see where it would automatically be assumed that the driver I saw was in the wrong just because it was a vehicle vs bicycle. I don't mind sharing the road, but we need to share the rules, too, which includes stop signs.

Like I said, I am truly sorry this gentleman was injured and hope he gets the information he needs soon from the PD.

If it makes you feel any better, I saw a woman in a big SUV in the diamond lane getting on 50 at Folsom Blvd. She stopped for the metered lights. I looked over wondering, Why is she stopping when she doesn't have to?, and guess what? Yup, she was on the phone not paying attention. Poor guy that came up behind her not expecting her to stop had to slam on his brakes It's crazy out there. Everybody be safe.

#12 fatfenders

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:56 PM

this is why I only bike on the trails..the only risk there is a little kid that goes a little wide on the corner or at time the wanta be hot cyclist that forgets to say "on your left". it never happens that the bike wins in a car bike collision


Old Soldier,
Not Quite. My morning run takes me to the bike trail that parallels Blue Ravine, down to Hazel, across the bridge, back up to the Folsom Dam, then hit E. Natoma up top and home. So far, just this year I have seen 3... count 'em, 3 serious bike on bike accidents on the trails. As near as I could determine, all three were caused by some studly young guy on his $2,000 kinda mount, screaming down and around a corner, taking it too wide, and colliding with some poor soul huffing and puffing up the trail at that point. I have personally had more than one close call of this nature myself. I know the worse places and am very defensive. You can avoid most of these kinds of collisions but you have to be really be paying attention.

#13 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:18 PM

I believe the law states a car is not supposed to enter the crossing lane with a pedestrian inside. I would assume that also applies to bikers, but then I think bikers are technically supposed to walk the bike across the street. I am an occasional rider and do not walk my bike across a street nor would I expect to see it while driving around town. :) I am glad you are okay!

He was riding in a through bike lane, not crossing a street. The car was entering the street (E. Natoma) on which he was riding. He did not have a stop sign or signal. The motorist did. As a bicyclist in the road (including in a bike lane on the road), he has all the rights and responsibilities of a motorist, including having the motorist stop at the stop sign and yield to traffic (him) on the main road.

No, bicyclists are not supposed to walk across the street, unless they choose to dismount and become a pedestrian. A bicyclist on the road does not "cross the street", he drives through an intersection just like a motorist, obeying all relevant laws and traffic control devices.

#14 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:24 PM

C'mon, Tony. I wasn't bicycle-bashing. Merely relating something that recently happened - just like you did on the other thread about an accident that happened in front of your office and how scary motorists are. I could see where it would automatically be assumed that the driver I saw was in the wrong just because it was a vehicle vs bicycle. I don't mind sharing the road, but we need to share the rules, too, which includes stop signs.

Like I said, I am truly sorry this gentleman was injured and hope he gets the information he needs soon from the PD.

If it makes you feel any better, I saw a woman in a big SUV in the diamond lane getting on 50 at Folsom Blvd. She stopped for the metered lights. I looked over wondering, Why is she stopping when she doesn't have to?, and guess what? Yup, she was on the phone not paying attention. Poor guy that came up behind her not expecting her to stop had to slam on his brakes It's crazy out there. Everybody be safe.

Actually, rarely is it the case that the police automatically assume the motorist was in the wrong. In fact, it's usually the opposite, especially when there is a fatality involved. Then the motorist invariably states that the bicyclist, pedestrian or little kid came out of nowhere with no possibility of stopping, and gets off without so much as a ticket.

The difference is that I added to the list of recent crashes on major streets, and, yes, digressed to note that speed (which was already a topic in the thread) held even more risk for bicyclists and pedestrians. I was just emphasizing the risk of speed. That's not quite the same as flipping the topic from cyclist hit by car, motorist presumably at fault, to bicyclist does stupid thing and almost causes a crash. That reeks of the bike bashing that is so common here.

But, yes, it always makes me feel a little better to know that the distracted drivers occasionally get their due.

#15 tony

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:34 PM

Old Soldier,
Not Quite. My morning run takes me to the bike trail that parallels Blue Ravine, down to Hazel, across the bridge, back up to the Folsom Dam, then hit E. Natoma up top and home. So far, just this year I have seen 3... count 'em, 3 serious bike on bike accidents on the trails. As near as I could determine, all three were caused by some studly young guy on his $2,000 kinda mount, screaming down and around a corner, taking it too wide, and colliding with some poor soul huffing and puffing up the trail at that point. I have personally had more than one close call of this nature myself. I know the worse places and am very defensive. You can avoid most of these kinds of collisions but you have to be really be paying attention.

Ditto. I know of a recent very serious bike-bike crash on the ARP (happened to know people associated with both parties) involving an idiot (and old enough to know better) cyclist racing on a lunch ride. Walt Seifert, former Executive Director of SABA, was fond of saying that the bike path is the most dangerous place to ride. I'm not sure I would go that far; but it's not a walk in the park, so to speak.

Tony, Thats too funny! One of the first things I did (once I was able to hobble over to my computer) was to Google "Car / bicycle accident". First hit was Bob's "bicyclelaw.com". Called, talked to him for nearly an hour. Great guy. (And I generally don't like lawyers LOL). He asked for my address and indicated he would send me that book , free of charge!.

Hope he signs it! If you would like to borrow my copy in the mean time, please let me know.




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