Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday: A Bike vs. Car Collision

I had just gotten into my truck to go to work yesterday around 10:30am. I was facing north on E street. I had just started my engine when I noticed a guy on a bicycle ride out from behind my next door neighbor's fence that borders the Nazarene Church parking lot. It seemed like more of a blur than anything else because the guy was going so fast.

For a split second I thought there was no way he could turn onto the sidewalk as he was going too fast. I figured he must by planning on turning into the northbound lane of E street instead. There were cars coming down the street in both directions.

Nope. He goes flying into the street attempting to cross it without looking. It happened so fast. There's a car traveling southbound. I see no way for the car not to hit the bike or the bike the car. I'm thinking I'm about to see the bike guy get killed. Yep, except the bike flies into the driver's side front part of the car, instead of the car hitting him. The bike was going so fast (plus, no helmet) I'm figuring the rider must be seriously injured.

Parts of the car fly off and land on the street. The rider and the bike fall to the ground but I'm surprised to see the rider immediately get up, swear, and start picking up the bike and other stuff that fell down- he ignored the car parts. He limped a little but otherwise seemed ok.

The guy he ran into pulls over across the street, gets out of his car and starts walking back towards point of impact. I get out of my truck and shout out to him that I saw everything that happened and it wasn't his fault. The bike guy flew right into the street and into his car. He yells to the bike guy, "Are you ok?". The bike guy just goes about picking up his stuff and starts looking at his bike to check for damage.

The car driver tells me he thought he killed the guy. I told him that's what I thought, too, but that it wasn't the car guy's fault.

The bike guy rolls his bike to the sidewalk next to where the car guy parked. The car guy and I walk over to where he is. The car guy asks if the bike guy has insurance. The bike guy says he doesn't. The car guy asks if he has identification. The bike guy says he lost his ID. 

The whole time the bike guy's just adjusting things on his bike with no seeming concern about anything but himself and the bike. I can't believe the bike is in the shape it is as he really creamed the car. The collision took of the car's side view mirror, broke the driver's side window and put a big dent in the metal above the left front tire, yet the bike seems in pretty decent shape.

The car guy then tells the bike guy that he's taking his bike. The bike guy says something like "No, you can't have that". The car guy tells him he messed up his car and he wants something to help pay for it. The bike guy refuses saying he has to go because he's on his way to a job interview. He's full of shit.

Bike guy says he has a battery charger in his pack worth $60.00. Will the car guy take that? Car guy isn't interested. Bike guy then reaches into his backpack and pulls out a large bottle of whiskey. It looks full although the seal on the cap was broken. Car guy says "I'll take that just so you (the bike guy) won't have it". With that the bike guy hops on the bike and rides off- basically a hit and run.

A girl parked in the Nazarene Church parking lot that also saw the whole thing yelled to us if everything was ok. I gave her a thumbs up. Me and the car guy go over to speak with her. She says she saw it all and it was the bike guy's fault as he'd just come racing through the parking lot before he went out into the street. I told her I saw pretty much the same thing except I didn't see him in the parking lot.

He didn't seem interested in taking her contact info down. She went back to what she was doing and I told the guy if he needed a witness that I lived in the house my truck was parked in front of. He asked me if I wanted the bottle of whiskey. I took it and tossed it in the ivy next to my driveway.

I asked him if he had uninsured motorist insurance, although I'm not sure if that applies. He said his insurance should be fine and that he'd be ok. With that, he got into his car and left.

I do wonder if he'll be ok with insurance. I'm not sure how that uninsured driver thing works but he probably still needs to pay a deductible and it could be quite high. He got burned by the flake bike rider as I'm sure the damage to his car probably was at least $1000.00.

About the best that can be hoped for is the bike guy suffered internal injuries he was unaware of and will crawl off into the bushes and die. Yes, I mean that. 

He recklessly caused an accident and a lot of misery to a guy that was just minding his own business, yet didn't seem to give a damn about it and might well do it again. We don't need people like that on this planet.
That sort of thing makes me wonder. I read about such things happening in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat fairly often. Comments to the story often include someone calling for bicycle registration, or something similar. I'm surprised nobody ever calls for mandatory bike collision insurance. 

Do we want to go there? I'm not sure I would, but it would be nice if bike riders could be held responsible for their actions. It would also be nice if we could prohibit dirt bags that cause accidents like that to never be able to ride a bike again.
Speaking of eyewitness testimony, as I've brought up here lately: I realized not long after that accident I'd be hard pressed to give a description of the guy. I might recognize him if I saw him again, but I don't know I could have written down an accurate description of either him or the bike. I'm one of the worst when it comes to being a witness.


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Joe Blow said...

How come no one called the police?

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Maybe they did but when they saw the guy up and walking around figured it wasn't an "injury" accident so felt no need to have them show up?

It would have been nice to have them show up towards the end there but by then it was too late. Not sure what they could have done since you don't need a license or insurance to ride a bike. I wouldn't have been surprised, though, if the police already knew the guy. Maybe there were warrants out for him?

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Joe Blow said...

Why didn't YOU call the police, Fred? Isn't that what concerned, responsible people do in such situations. That situation could easily have escalated into a fight. Then what?

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Things happened relatively quickly. I briefly thought of doing that but figured the police wouldn't get there before he left, anyway. I'm not even sure they could do anything.

And if the car guy didn't feel like calling the cops, I'm not so sure I should. He was the one who suffered damage.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Things happened relatively quickly. I briefly thought of doing that but figured the police wouldn't get there before he left, anyway. I'm not even sure they could do anything.

And if the car guy didn't feel like calling the cops, I'm not so sure I should. He was the one who suffered damage.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Joe Blow said...

Well, you'll never know if the police would get there in time will you Fred. You can justify just about anything speculating on what might be. Either way your actions or non-actions justify and protect both the lawbreaker and the police. My point being, you can't blame the police for lack of law enforcement when no one calls them.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't think I've ever blamed the police for lack of law enforcement.


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