Another cyclist hit by a car
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: deadlegs's Avatar
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    Another cyclist hit by a car

    I have held off on posting this, mostly because it happened on a road I frequently ride. It scares the crap out of me to be thinking about it because I consider it a dangerous area and every time I ride this one 20 yard stretch, the hair on my neck stands up. There are two lanes each direction, the direction he was traveling makes it a left hand curve, under one bridge and over another, no shoulder, poor visability, and the speed limit is a bit high. From what I understand, he was hit from behind by a van treveling too fast to make the curve safely. The DRIVER side front of the van hit him. The grill is gone, hood crushed and the windshield is crushed directly in the drivers view. She drove off! Witnesses said the bike continued on over the top of the van and then the cyclist was thrown off to the side into a guardrail. Head injuries, punctured lung, three spinal fractures, (from a local web-news page). Things get a bit unbelievable here. . . She drove the van to the owners house. The owner claims she would not tell him what happened at first. She finally told him later what happened. He did not call police until the next morning, after he found she had run off.

    This was posted in a message from one of the local bike club members:

    Now for an update on Matt Marion who was very badly injured by a hit and run driver in Red Bank last Thursday. Earlier I was under the impression that the driver had been taken into custody but I have since found out that they still have not found her. She has a long list of warrants and seems to be very illusive. Lets hope they can get her off the streets soon.

    Matt is doing extremely well considering it was very questionable whether he would make it a few days ago. He is talking pretty sensibly, walking little baby steps with the therapist and eating his first solid food today. I believe he feels like he woke up yesterday. They feel sure he will go home by Friday but that was all they would say when I last talked to his wife, Gina. He is ready to go home TODAY. He lives in Dunwoody, near Atlanta, and has two children. He was in Chattanooga on business and going on a ride with a client friend who works for Provident and some of his friends. The woman was speeding on Dayton Blvd toward the tunnel and didn't make that bad curve, swung wide and ran into him. After he went into her windshield, she swerved and slung him into the guardrail then speed away, never even slowing down. He is at Erlanger in room 9138. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure he would appreciate cards and good wishes.

    The accident happend last Thursday. She turned herself in yesterday, Tuesday.

    Anyway, just wanted to pass this along. I hope he heals fast and can get home to his family in Atlanta, soon!

    Ride safe
    deadlegs

    I've breathed the mountain air, man. (J. Cash)

    It's a long way to the top
    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  2. #2
    Weed
    Reputation: zyzbot's Avatar
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    I won't ride the south end of Dayton Blvd at all. I know that it is posted as a bike route, but it is just too dangerous there.

  3. #3
    Windrider (Stubborn)
    Reputation: Len J's Avatar
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    Very Sad......

    It sounds like he was lucky.


    A few points of clarification:

    1.) If this area is so dangerous.....why ride it at all? Is it the only route? I try to avoid the more dangerous places in my area.....it's just not worth it.

    2.) It sounds, from the descriptions, like he was riding pretty far out in the lane if she hit him on the drivers side. He was also riding with some friends. Were they riding 2 or more abreast? If not, how did she hit hime with the drivers side from behind? It seems to me that if I am going to ride onto a dangerous blind curve where there is a strong possibility that drivers are going to be speeding, I would ride as close to the curb as possible. It's just defensive cycling (Falls under the heading "While I may be right, I still lose a battle with a car."). Just because I have a right to the lane doesn't mean that the safest course is to take it.

    Don't misunderstand me, I am not excusing the drivers behavior. What she did both during the accident and after it is inexcusable. After a bad accident I had several years ago, I started paying attention to those things I could do as I rode to give me a little more safety. My accident fell under the heading "There was nothing I could have done to prevent it" which made it doubly hard to get back on the bike after my recovery, so I now look at any incident like this and try to figure what the rider could have done to lessen the chance of serious injury. We can't control the drivers, but we can control what we do.

    I hope he continues to recover, and I hope the driver is held accountable for what she did.

    Len

    ps I'm sure I'll take some flames for not railing against the driver and drivers in general and 100% taking the side of the cyclist (What a traitor I am). Sorry, but I think that I am responsible for my own safety. I know I can't control what drivers do, so I will control what i can do.



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  4. #4
    Strained coccyx etc etc
    Reputation: haiku d'etat's Avatar
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    mike, i hope she gets the shaft. chattanooga seems very bicycle (and pedestrian, mostly) friendly. with exception to that agressive car/egging incident last year at the 3/3, all i've seen was good stuff. with the mayor leading the 3/3 out the last couple years (or every year?) i'd assume they are fairly "transportation-alternate" aware. here's hoping she gets what she deserves.
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: deadlegs's Avatar
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    Len,

    It is a bad place to be but of the "other" routes, they are not as direct and one has an awful hill (which I enjoy). I believe it is common for non-locals to take this road because there is less chance of getting lost. Everyone else uses it because it saves time. I agree, it's not worth it, but at the same time. . . I still ride it sometimes.

    As far as where he was in the road, I have not figured that one out. He was riding with some other folks and they may not have singled up. Or, there is usually a lot of debris on the far right side of the lane so he could have been out in the lane from that. I do not have any facts though.

    A little more info on her. . . she has a record of drug related arrests, arrests for prostitution, and etc. I don't know if any of those prior charges have anything to do with the accident but it could explain her actions after it happened.
    deadlegs

    I've breathed the mountain air, man. (J. Cash)

    It's a long way to the top
    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  6. #6
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    Reputation: deadlegs's Avatar
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    J,

    You know this section of road. . .

    3S3M course, just after passing through the tunnel, you have a down-hill section with a right-hand curve. From what I understand, they were riding in the other direction, in the curve, towards the tunnel (and town).
    deadlegs

    I've breathed the mountain air, man. (J. Cash)

    It's a long way to the top
    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

  7. #7
    Strained coccyx etc etc
    Reputation: haiku d'etat's Avatar
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    i'll pay closer attention in may...

    they do a great job with police escort and road marshalling on the first few miles of the 3/3.
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

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