Cyclist Loses Life in Cache County Crash

SUV Injures Two Boys in Payson, Utah

Payson, Utah. Two young boys were hit by a SUV while riding tandem (one of the boys was on the handlebars) on a single bicycle in Payson on Thursday, May 17, 2012. According to KSL News, the two boys were riding near 1400 South and 930 West when they were struck by a SUV. They were subsequently taken to Mountain View Hospital in Payson. One of the boys, a 6-year-old, was then taken by medical helicopter to the Primary Children’s Medical Center. He is expected to make a good recovery. It’s not believed by investigators that speed or impairment was involved with the crash. No charges were filed against the driver.

I offer my hopes for a speedy recovery for these two boys.

As a Utah County bicycle attorney, I know that there could be other reasons, besides the youth of these children, that could help explain how this bicycle accident happened. Certainly, riding tandem on a single bicycle could have contributed to this crash. The family may wish to consider consulting with an injury attorney to see what remedies may be available in this circumstance.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah bicycle accident attorney.

Magna Cycling Accident Takes Life of Avid Bike Rider

Karen Johnson succumbed to her injuries and passed away following a head on collision in Magna, Utah, between herself and a Dodge pickup truck on October 19, 2010. According to KSL News, a 17 year old was driving down the street in Magna with a pickup full of balloons and a windshield mostly covered with paint in celebration of her 17th birthday. By reports, she was driving on the opposite side of the road and above the speed limit as Karen Johnson and a fellow cyclist, coworker, were approaching her. The two cyclists appeared to have split, with the male cyclist going to the right of the pickup truck, off the road and Karen veering to the left. At the point she veered, however, the pickup truck driver suddenly corrected and veered right into the path of Ms. Johnson, striking her head on. She died on the way to the hospital. Both of the cyclists were wearing helmets at the time.

 

Video Courtesy of KSL.com.

I send my deepest condolences to the family of Karen Johnson and those that knew her and loved her. By reports, she was an avid cyclist, doing rides of up to 500 miles. I’m quite certain that she’ll be missed by those in the biking community as well. I also feel for the motorist, for the anguish, remorse and guilt she’ll keep with her the rest of her life for her role in taking out an innocent cyclist.

From a legal standpoint, the driver of the pickup was certainly to blame for this tragic, completely avoidable collision. From looking at the pictures, I can tell that the paint on the windshield was not legal and most likely helped obscure the view of the road. Balloons in the cab of the truck certainly didn’t help and may have caused a distraction as they shifted and moved about in the truck. At any rate, whatever the exact reason for her being on the opposite side of the road was, it was illegal under Utah law. We saw from this crash the type of outcome that can come to innocent persons and to the community at large from those that break the law as this woman did by driving on the wrong side of the road. That being said, I’m sure she didn’t mean to run down this woman. However, she cannot say it was just an “accident” that this happened. Drivers have choices when they drive, and from the news report, it appears that she may have chosen to drive the vehicle while being overly distracted.

I’m a little sensitive to this type of collision since I myself am a regular road biker and have had some close calls myself and know that cyclists (as well as motorcyclists) often are not seen by others on the road. But driving your car on Utah’s roads requires that you are attentive to conditions around you – at all times. If you cannot be attentive, or if the surroundings are overly distracting to safe driving, then you shouldn’t drive.

From a legal standpoint, a claim could be made against the driver of the truck, as well as the owner of the truck since the driver is under 18 years of age. There are some small PIP insurance medical and death benefits that are available through the motorists insurance company.

The information and opinions expressed above are provided as a public service and should not be used in place of legal advice from a qualified Utah wrongful death attorney.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah bike accident attorney.

Draper Bicycle Accident Leaves Utah Woman Dead, Attorney To Screen Possible Charges

Elizabeth “Bunny” Bradley, 29 years old, is dead following a tragic auto versus bike accident that occurred July 13, 2010 around 7 a.m. on 900 East Highland Drive in Draper, Utah. According to KSL News, Bradley was biking with a group of 9 other women when a pickup truck crossed the center line and hit another car. This impact took a tire off the truck, causing the pickup driver to lose control and head straight into a group of women cyclists. By reports, the women, including Bradley, were unable to get out of the way. Sadly, Bradley took the brunt of the collision, hitting the truck head-on. After the crash, she was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in Salt Lake City in critical condition and placed on life support. Less than 24 hours later, however, she passed away from her injuries.

Draper police continue to investigate this bike versus vehicle accident and will potentially recommend that the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office bring charges against the at-fault driver.  Both drivers had their blood drawn and the results will be reviewed by Draper police.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Elizabeth Bradley and to those who knew and loved her. It’s clear from the news accounts that she will be sorely missed, especially by her surviving husband and two small children.

The big question that I have is what caused the motorist in the first place to cross over the center line and come over into the opposing lane of traffic? What the driver using their cell phone, text messaging, or were they sleep deprived? While police are calling this a “tragic accident,” it seems from the sound of it, that it was the actions of the pickup driver that caused the chain reaction leading to this auto versus bike crash. A car drifting over the center line is rarely an “accident.” It most always comes from a driver who is negligent in one form or another, probably because they were distracted and took their eyes off the road. Legally speaking, the negligent or reckless driver is responsible civilly for all the harms that resulted from his or her actions in a wrongful death case that the family of Elizabeth Bradley might bring against them. I notice from the pictures that the truck has what appears to be the name of a construction company on both of its doors. If the driver was on company business at the time of the crash, or was on his or cell phone regarding the business of his or her employer, than the company along with this individual should be held accountable for the negligent driver’s actions. From a criminal point of view, this driver should also be charged since his or her actions brought about the death of an innocent victim.

As a cyclist myself, I have had near misses with vehicles on the road. You try and drive defensively, make eye contact with motorists, and ride with others to make it more likely that drivers will see you. Sometimes, however, despite our best efforts, freak accidents do happen that you can’t do anything to prevent against. While a safer alternative to riding down the road with traffic is to stick to the spin class at the gym or rec center, this is no way to live. I just hope that other motorists reading this story will realize just how vulnerable and fragile an exposed bicyclist is out there on the road and practice driving skills that will minimize distraction and maximize the safety of those they share the road with.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah bike accident attorney.

Layton Bicycle Accident Seriously Injures Bicyclist

A 18-year-old man suffered internal injuries after being hit by a car while traveling on his bicycle in Layton, Utah. According to Layton police and the Salt Lake Tribune, the driver of the SUV that hit the bicyclist apparently ran a red light. This Utah bicycle accident happened on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at around 9 a.m near 500 North Main Street. A 31-year-old woman was driving an SUV southbound and continued through the intersection as her light turned red and east/west signals turned green. A semi truck initially pulled into the intersection when they saw the green light but stopped when they saw the SUV was not stopping. The SUV passed in front of the semi and hit the bicyclist as he entered the crosswalk.

I wish this young man the very best as he recovers from these serious injuries.

It appears blame lies with this woman who ran the red light. I wonder if she was talking on her phone or texting? I imagine authorities will look into her phone logs to see her activity at the time of the accident. The report mentions nothing of drugs or alcohol which could have also played a role in this accident.

Utah Bicycle Accident Statistics

In 2008, 716 bicyclists were killed and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes. This represents 2% of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. Alcohol involvement -either for the driver of the vehicle or the bicyclist- played a role in 37% of the bicycle-related fatalities. In 31% of these crashes, the driver of the bicyclist had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 9g/dL) or higher. In 2008, Utah had 4 bicycle fatalities.

Ron Kramer is a Utah bicycle accident attorney who helps the injure receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

The Kramer Law Group does not currently represent any of the parties referenced in the article at the time it was written. We have cited and linked to the source of our information. If you were involved in the above incident, or one like it, and have questions about your rights and possible remedies, you may call us or another reputable Utah personal injury law firm. Do not act based on the above information without getting a consultation. The best personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation. We offer a free and confidential consultation to those (and their family members) not substantially at fault in causing their accident. The information and opinions expressed above are provided as a public service and should not be used in place of legal advice from a qualified Utah personal injury attorney.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation.

Guilty Plea in Fatal Salt Lake City Bicycle Accident

We reported last year of the tragic auto-bicycle accident occurring at State St. and 3900 South in South Salt Lake City that took the life of 48-year old Gregory Allen Hayes. One year later, the person accused of running a red light and striking him, Otto Telesa Sua, 52 years old, has plead guilty to negligence homicide. As part of the plea deal, the class A misdemeanor charge has been reduced to a class B charge.

Sua has confessed that he was driving while sleep deprived and fatigued, having had only one hour of sleep at the time he fell asleep at the wheel and hit Haye’s bike. Sua now faces the prospect of being deported since it has been revealed that he is in this country illegally.

Ron Kramer is a Utah bicycle accident attorney serving clients in Salt Lake County, Utah, Weber, Davis Counties as well as all Utah communities statewide. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation.