Cyclist killed in Orange county VA.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: prschatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    207

    Cyclist killed in Orange county VA.

    I know this road, low traffic, country road, hard to miss someone riding a bike.....

    A car struck and killed a 15-year-old Orange boy on his bicycle Sunday
    just south of the town of Orange.

    According to State Police, Stephen Caleb Smith was eastbound on Monrovia
    Road when he attempted to turn left on Kerby Drive. A 50-year-old woman
    eastbound in a 2003 Chevy Impala struck him from behind around 2:10 p.m.

    Sgt. Les Tyler said the driver tried to avoid the teenager by merging
    into the other lane. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Tyler said Smith was wearing headphones and "that may have intervened
    with him hearing the vehicle coming up behind him."

    According to Virginia law, it's a violation to wear headphones while
    operating a vehicle - even a bike.

    Trooper S. J. Riddle responded to the call. No charges were filed.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    8,047
    No charges? If the driver says she tried to avoid the cyclist--- even if it was a kid wearing headphones, that means she saw the bike. This blows my mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by prschatt
    I know this road, low traffic, country road, hard to miss someone riding a bike.....

    A car struck and killed a 15-year-old Orange boy on his bicycle Sunday
    just south of the town of Orange.

    According to State Police, Stephen Caleb Smith was eastbound on Monrovia
    Road when he attempted to turn left on Kerby Drive. A 50-year-old woman
    eastbound in a 2003 Chevy Impala struck him from behind around 2:10 p.m.

    Sgt. Les Tyler said the driver tried to avoid the teenager by merging
    into the other lane. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Tyler said Smith was wearing headphones and "that may have intervened
    with him hearing the vehicle coming up behind him."

    According to Virginia law, it's a violation to wear headphones while
    operating a vehicle - even a bike.

    Trooper S. J. Riddle responded to the call. No charges were filed.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: prschatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    207
    My thoughts as well, especially knowing the area and riding it 4-5 x/week you have a mile visability on most of the road. Scroll a few miles to the right to Monrovia road, it's plain to see it's a straight open road.

    [IMG]
    View Larger Map[/IMG]

  4. #4
    Cpark
    Reputation: cpark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,062
    What a shame.
    No matter who's fault that is, it won't bring back the boy.
    My heart goes out to the family who have to bury their child....

  5. #5
    Cat 6 rider
    Reputation: California L33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3,090
    Quote Originally Posted by prschatt
    My thoughts as well, especially knowing the area and riding it 4-5 x/week you have a mile visability on most of the road. Scroll a few miles to the right to Monrovia road, it's plain to see it's a straight open road.
    If you're from the area you might want to take a few pictures and drop them by the District Attorney's office. Unless the bike swerved in front without giving her any chance to avoid him, it should be prosecuted. My heart goes out to the family, but the idea is to prevent this from happening again. We've got problems with sometimes hostile cops who are all too willing to believe anything the only survivor says. I particularly dislike the driver saying she tried to 'merge' around him, implying that she didn't even use her brakes. In California the law is clear, though often ignored, overtaking vehicle is required to pass safely.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    289
    That is is a very sad story and I pray for the child and the childs family. The case needs to be investigated further. I ride the county roads in Virginia and hope that every car that overtakes me sees me and every other cyclist and passes safely. I wear bright clothing and use one of those super bright Planet Bike blinkies and I'm still scared someone won't see me. This is another eye opener. Be safe.

  7. #7
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Below is a slightly different report on this accident. I assume the writer made a mistake when he wrote "oncoming vehicle" in he first sentence.

    But what bothers me more about this report is that the statement from the driver is presented as a fact, a reporting pattern I see and hear more and more in the media. Except for the last sentence, the entire second paragraph reads as if state police Sgt. Les Tyler witnessed the accident and is relating a true account of it. But the second paragraph clearly is the driver's account of the accident—which may or may not be true. In my view, it's more than just harmless sloppy writing. It allows the casual reader to immediately shift the blame to the cyclist because "the police said that's what happened."

    " A 15-year-old Orange County boy was killed Sunday when he turned his bicycle into an oncoming vehicle, state police said. Stephen Caleb Smith was nearing his home on Kerby Drive about 2:10 p.m. when he was struck, state police Sgt. Les Tyler said. The boy was wearing headphones at the time. Tyler said it wasn't clear how much of a role that played in the accident.

    Tyler said Stephen was heading east on State Route 612 when a 2003 Chevrolet Impala came up behind him near the intersection of Kerby Drive. Tyler said the driver, a 50-year-old Orange woman, moved to the center of the road preparing to pass the bicyclist. The boy made a sudden left turn in front of the car and was hit. He died at the scene.

    The driver will not be charged, Tyler said."
    Last edited by wim; 03-31-2008 at 02:34 AM.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    I am going to have to agree that the case needs to be investigated further. If it turns out that the kid suddenly turned in front of the car, then the lady shouldn't be charged with anything, plain and simple. Hopefully, there are other witnesses to the accident other than the 50 year old driver. Otherwise, we may never know what actually happened.

    I am also going to have to agree that it is one sad day any way you slice it. A 15 year old boy is dead, regardless of who's fault it is.

  9. #9
    bas
    bas is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,808
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1745321

    Hey, there is a 10 foot rise in the road and no bends!

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Doesn't mean the cyclist didn't make a sudden left turn in front of the vehicle. Before I was born, my father hit a kid on a bike that was trying to cross the DC beltway. Back then, the beltway was nothing like it is now. The way my dad tells the story, 3 kids were trying to cross. The first two got across no problem. The third one didn't know what to do. My dad tried to go behind him, but the kid got off the bike and started retreating back to where he came from and my dad ended up hitting him. My dad spent days in the hospital visiting the kid and felt horrible about the accident. Sometimes, accidents do happen and people die. It is the people that are completely careless and the people that have malicious intent that I want to see rot in jail. I don't want to see a 50 year old lady rot in jail just because she killed a cyclist by accident, even if it was her fault. We all make mistakes and should have to pay for them, but you wouldn't want to spend 20 years in jail if you happened to run a red light by accident and you severely hurt or kileld somebody by accident. Now, if you mashed on the gas and ran that red light fast and clearly red and mowed down a pedestrian, then I think some jail time is in order.

    Hell, I just read an article a couple of days ago where a father put his 2 month old baby in a mircowave and turned it on. The baby suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and had to have an ear amputated and the jury gave the guy 25 years, and he is eligible for parole in 12 1/2 years.

    For me, it all boils down to intent and the level of carelessness.

  11. #11
    bas
    bas is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,808
    Quote Originally Posted by fabsroman
    Doesn't mean the cyclist didn't make a sudden left turn in front of the vehicle.

    For me, it all boils down to intent and the level of carelessness.
    If she slowed up and gave him 3 feet of room, then fine.. she did her duty.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    I'll agree with that. However, how much does a motorist have to slow down from the posted speed limit? I have no issue with the 3 feet of room, just the subjectiveness of the speed.

    Again, if he turned into her after she gave him enough room, I don't blame her.

    What do you do to the guy that doesn't use a blinker for a lane change that causes a 10 car pile up with signifant injury? Does he go to jail?

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: prschatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    207
    Well, knowing the area, and the people that drive that road, she was annoyed that a kid on the bike was there, tried to pass while "merging" into the other lane while he was turning into his road. He was ahead of the driver while turning. Outcome, Family devastated that their child is dead, and an impatient driver has to live with killing a kid. Funny thing is I mostly encounter farmers in trucks that wave, tractors that give a high sign, rarely see a car, and the occasional one that I do encounter is usually in a rush to get into town, with a horn-blow to get you into the dirt.

  14. #14

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    294
    Speed kills - she had to be speeding. No mention though. Devastated doesn't begin to cover it...coming from the mom of a 14-year-old. Almost creamed by a truck on I-95 taking her to school this morning. Heart stopping! We all need to be more careful. See lalahsghost post on hostility towards cyclists...very appropriate.

  15. #15
    Failboat Captian
    Reputation: JohnnyTooBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6,527
    By the stated location of the accident, I have to wonder if the kid wasn't taking the lane and started to turn left onto his street. The driver saw some kid on a bike in the middle of the road, went into the left lane to pass. The kid turned left and got smashed. Makes me wonder whether, if the kid had indicated he was turning and had been able to hear a car coming, it might not have turned out this way. If he had headphones on, and assumed there was noone around, he just turned left w/o warning, in front of her as she tried to pass.

    Just a WAG, but if something like that were what actually happened, then I would agree that she shouldn't be charged.

    however, if he was just riding along, and she was inattentive and hit him, while he was trying to keep tight, then she needs to be punished.

    Either way, it sucks.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
    -Paula Abdul

    Quote Originally Posted by ToF View Post
    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    8,047
    Would she have passed a slow car that near an intersection, even if the car was not signaling? Just asking.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad
    By the stated location of the accident, I have to wonder if the kid wasn't taking the lane and started to turn left onto his street. The driver saw some kid on a bike in the middle of the road, went into the left lane to pass. The kid turned left and got smashed. Makes me wonder whether, if the kid had indicated he was turning and had been able to hear a car coming, it might not have turned out this way. If he had headphones on, and assumed there was noone around, he just turned left w/o warning, in front of her as she tried to pass.

    Just a WAG, but if something like that were what actually happened, then I would agree that she shouldn't be charged.

    however, if he was just riding along, and she was inattentive and hit him, while he was trying to keep tight, then she needs to be punished.

    Either way, it sucks.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    We are doing a bunch of speculation on what the facts were. Sadly, we will probably never know what the actual facts were and who was actually at fault.

    All this will do is make us, fellow cyclists, argue about it.

  18. #18

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    294
    If you have kids, hug them a little tighter and longer tonight. Don't forget to say I love you. You never know.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: kiwisimon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    6,998
    Quote Originally Posted by trekkie7
    If you have kids, hug them a little tighter and longer tonight. Don't forget to say I love you. You never know.
    If you have teenagers good luck doing that, but you can still tell them. "Be careful out there"

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    655
    A sad story to be sure. Is it in fact Va law to give 3 feet when passing a bicycle?

  21. #21

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    294
    It's 2 feet, but the more room, the better. See Code of Virginia Online.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1

    caleb smith: a very special guy and a really great friend, we will all miss you RIP

    FABSROMAN...that is my friend you are talking about that way and i don't like it...saying you don't blame her for hitting him...i blame her...and your question "what do you do to the guy who doesn't use a blinker for a lane change?...i kno wat you do...wat you do is not hit him or just go around him...you honk the horn to let him kno you are behind him...sure he shouldn't have been wearing earphones while riding his bike, but she could have at least let him kno she was there...she was 50...im pretty sure she has been driving long enough to kno the rules of the road and what to do if that scenario ever came up. so i don't appreciate you talking like that about caleb

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Quote Originally Posted by FRODO18
    FABSROMAN...that is my friend you are talking about that way and i don't like it...saying you don't blame her for hitting him...i blame her...and your question "what do you do to the guy who doesn't use a blinker for a lane change?...i kno wat you do...wat you do is not hit him or just go around him...you honk the horn to let him kno you are behind him...sure he shouldn't have been wearing earphones while riding his bike, but she could have at least let him kno she was there...she was 50...im pretty sure she has been driving long enough to kno the rules of the road and what to do if that scenario ever came up. so i don't appreciate you talking like that about caleb
    Exactly what way was I talking about your friend? Was I putting blame where blame might have been warranted. You might not appreciate it, but if the fact of the matter is that he turned into the vehicle approaching from behind, then that isn't really the 50 year old lady's fault. The report also says she tried to avoid him by merging into another lane. People make mistakes all the time. Sometimes, they get lucky and it isn't a deadly mistake. Sometimes, they don't get lucky. Post the police report and pics of the intersection, and I'll give you my further opinion based on more evidence.

    Next, how does an approaching car let somebody know that they are behind him when the rider is wearing headphones? Did you check out his MP3 player right after the collision to see how loud it was set? Was this stated in the police report? Do you even have a copy of the police report?

    Your 5 faces of breathing fire aren't doing anything to help your case. Be as mad at me as you want to be. Sometimes, the truth hurts. If you have additional facts to show that this lady was indeed at fault and/or that your friend wasn't at fault, I am all ears.

    My training partner from the 80's lost his father to a negligent driver that ran his father over in a merge ramp. So, I know it hurts emotionally. In that case, it was clear cut that the driver was negligent because he was only looking backward for approaching traffic while he was coming down the ramp and trying to merge and never saw my buddy's dad in front of him. Plus, my buddy's dad was riding as far right as possible. I am sorry for your loss. However, that still does not change the facts of the matter or the responsibility.

    We all need to be very cautious while we are out riding. Sometimes, I listen to music while out riding, but the left ear bud is cut off from the earphones so I can never be charged with riding with headphoneS on, and more importantly, I can hear approaching traffic out of my left ear.
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Modified by unknown from Bovard's original quote<o:p></o:p>

    Bikes:
    Colnago C50 ST01 - 2008 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 303
    Colnago Cristallo NS03 - 2007 Campy Record 10 - Custom Wheels
    Colnago Oval Krono LX4 - 2008 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 808/disk
    Colnago Arte bare aluminum - 2007 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 404
    Colnago Arte NS03 - unbuilt
    Bianchi FG Lite Liqui - 2008 Record - Zipp 202

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    409
    When something like this happens to someone very close to the victim, people react how they react and you have to try to be a little sensitive to that fact. Objectively, of course, if you step in front of a train it's your fault but it's hard to imagine this scenario could not have been avoided if either party had acted differently in some small way.

    Was it her responsibility, under the law, to be more careful, maybe not. Should she suffer in jail because of this accident, probably not. But was it her fault, in part, it almost has to be.

    But some sympathy for the driver might also be in order. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if I took a life even if someone ran a red light drunk in front of my car and I killed them. On Rt 100 near me police officers used to step out in the road to point out speeders to pull over until one day a poor girl was changing lanes hit one and killed him. No fault was assigned to her in the accident but she was burned at the stake around the water cooler and I'd imagine it haunts her to this day.

    Things like this are gong to happen. Let's just hope the lesson lasts long enough in our minds to save a few lives between them.
    Stand For Something.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    When something like this happens to someone very close to the victim, people react how they react and you have to try to be a little sensitive to that fact. Objectively, of course, if you step in front of a train it's your fault but it's hard to imagine this scenario could not have been avoided if either party had acted differently in some small way.

    Was it her responsibility, under the law, to be more careful, maybe not. Should she suffer in jail because of this accident, probably not. But was it her fault, in part, it almost has to be.

    But some sympathy for the driver might also be in order. I don't think I would be able to live with myself if I took a life even if someone ran a red light drunk in front of my car and I killed them. On Rt 100 near me police officers used to step out in the road to point out speeders to pull over until one day a poor girl was changing lanes hit one and killed him. No fault was assigned to her in the accident but she was burned at the stake around the water cooler and I'd imagine it haunts her to this day.

    Things like this are gong to happen. Let's just hope the lesson lasts long enough in our minds to save a few lives between them.
    That part is about the only part of your post that I disagree with. If she was doing the speed limit, gave the riders ample room to pass the rider, and the rider made an abrupt lane change in front of her, it just isn't her fault. At least not according to legal theory it isn't. Same goes for when a child runs out into the road from between two parked cars where the driver has no chance to see the child until the child is right in front of the car.

    Now, if the driver were speeding, inattentive, etc., then the driver would also be at fault. Since the driver in our case merged into another lane in an attempt to avoid the cyclist, it appears that she was paying attention to the road and attempting to pass with care. Without all the facts, it is rather hard to tell anything for sure.

    It just sucks that 40,000+ people die on the road every year and their loved ones and friends have to suffer too. We should go back to horses and bikes, but then nobody would be able to attend out of town bike races.
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Modified by unknown from Bovard's original quote<o:p></o:p>

    Bikes:
    Colnago C50 ST01 - 2008 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 303
    Colnago Cristallo NS03 - 2007 Campy Record 10 - Custom Wheels
    Colnago Oval Krono LX4 - 2008 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 808/disk
    Colnago Arte bare aluminum - 2007 Campy Record 10 - Zipp 404
    Colnago Arte NS03 - unbuilt
    Bianchi FG Lite Liqui - 2008 Record - Zipp 202

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.