Hit & Kind of Run

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Pierce
Participant
#

Hazelwood and Second Ave

Going to be very sore in the morning according to medic and my present soreness

I would emphasize the importance of getting the plate right away

If any of you remember the tale of me getting my stolen bike back, it’s similar

I’ll post more details tomorrow night

Will have to make a trip to Freeride this Sat to get another front wheel, as this is my rim brake bike, so I can’t ride around with it all out of true like I do my disk bike


quizbot
Participant
#

That sucks man, sorry to hear it. Take it easy. I guess consider yourself lucky. Were there any witnesses? Helmet cam?


stefb
Participant
#

Sorry. Hope they catch the turd. Glad you’re mostly ok.


reddan
Keymaster
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Crapola. Glad you’re in one piece, Pierce.


Anonymous #

It sucks. Get better.


pinky
Participant
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Stinks. Please don’t hesitate to get checked out if your soreness doesn’t improve.


sarah_q
Participant
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I’m curious about the “kind of” run part of the title. Glad you are okay, Pierce. Drivers have been *really* pissing me off lately.


Pierce
Participant
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I was riding along Second Ave towards Greenfield after a long day of work… my last day of work, after many years of safely navigating down this very road. I thought about my family and continued pedaling as normal (Just kidding about last day of work/family, would have been good for some retirony though.) It was now about 10:30pm. I decided against going on the SS trail because I didn’t feel like walking through snow and wasn’t sure of the condition of the trail. The streets were quiet and there were hardly any cars on the road. I don’t even think I was passed by any cars from the Glenwood Bridge up until the accident happened…

So I was merrily cycling along Second Ave, close to home, and an oncoming car slowed down to make a left turn onto Hazelwood. With a blazing green light and the seeming recognition that I existed, I continued on through the intersection, only to discover that the oncoming car wasn’t in fact going to stop, which I didn’t realize until the car was about a foot away from me, at what seemed to be a nearly perpendicular collision course. A split second later, there was a loud bang (according to a witness) and we had collided.

I’m not quite sure what happened at that moment. My front wheel was bent up, my left knee acquired abrasions, my right pelvis area was pretty damn sore, and my right ring finger got this weird blood thing under the skin too and is also sore. Luckily, I didn’t seem to hit my head and I’m guessing the guy slammed on the brakes.

At that point I think I’m like “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” kind of like when you stub your toe or something and refrain from using profanity. The guy gets out of the car and is like “Are you okay!” At this point, some cars kind of congregate around us, but manage to get around. He moves my bike over to the light pole and I ask if I can sit in his car for a moment, which I’m pretty sure he says, okay, and so I do. (I think I was also wary of him running off, which being in his car would help alleviate.) He had a female passenger, but she didn’t say anything. I was in the back seat. At this point he drove up a little bit further up Hazelwood to park his car out of the intersection. I also picked up a piece of his bumper, a kind of grille next to the fog light and put it in his back seat. I think I talk about calling an ambulance for statistical purposes/bike infrastructure funding.

So we get out again and go over and look at my bike and he asks me again if I’m okay. I say yeah, just kind of sore. We kind of look at my bike and we think just the front wheel is bent. (I think my back wheel got out of true also to a lesser degree, but I’ll have to take a closer look later) He offers to give me a hundred dollars for the wheel, which is a pretty decent price considering I think I traded two freeride hours for it. So I agree. I then go back to the car and look around the front to see if there is any other damage to his car. He gets back into the car and rolls down his window and asks if everything is okay with the car. At this point I tell him about the grille and said I put the part in his back seat and he says something like “And you put it in the back seat?” I say yes and then he drives up Hazelwood.

Like a scene from Alias, I try to remember the plate as it’s getting quickly and increasingly smaller and then run over to my bike to pull out my notepad and write it down. (<<a skill which I think got worse after my last concussion and which showed up on my test/) Somebody else yells “Did you get the plate!” (<previously mentioned witness) I then call the cops and request an ambulance. I didn’t specify that I was a bicycle in the call. Cops show up fairly quickly and one of them (the guy who took my report) says he came from Murray and didn’t see any cars on the road. He takes some info and informs me that I have the wrong plate number. Damn it! It comes back to the wrong make and not from around here. Fire truck comes and gets my info, not exactly sure why, then ambulance comes and checks me out. Says I’ll be sore, but probably fine. Still am sore, especially when there’s pressure on that part of my body. The cop gives me a ride home and we throw the bike in the back trunk. End of story.

The car was an Audi four door sedan, driver in his mid to late 30’s, plate partial JDJ-6263. I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to bother looking for this guy, but if he was heading home, he probably lives on some side street of Hazelwood. $100 might be too much. $50 might be more reasonable. Maybe I can haggle with him.

So on the plus side, he did make sure I was physically okay several times. On the downside, he seemingly obviously turned his car right into me. At some point, maybe shortly after I was hit, he said “I didn’t know where you were going,” which I’m not sure I said anything in reply. I’m not sure my course of action if I didn’t know where a cyclist was going would be to turn right into him and since I was going straight, I’m not exactly sure where he thought I could have been going besides where I was when he hit me. I’m also out a bicycle wheel, which sucks, because I had just got that bike in nearly perfect shape. Also drove into work today and probably will the rest of the week, which also sucks.

Helmet cam would have gotten the plates. But I’m also wondering, if something else more sinister were involved, if that could lead to violence in order to destroy that evidence of the collision and who was involved. I don’t have any reason to believe there was something more sinister, but just food for thought

Since there were basically no extenuating circumstances, I’m not sure what could have prevented this outside of following the right of way on the other guy’s part, which is a pretty damn important rule when operating a motor vehicle on the road

With any luck, the guy will be more aware of cyclists in the future

Ironically, when I checked my mailbox this morning for the previous day’s mail, a Bike Pgh membership renewal letter had arrived, which I took care of before writing this

@quizbot

Last night part of me wished I had responded more passionately like you might have.


Pierce
Participant
#

buffalo buffalo
Participant
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If he didn’t wait for the cops to show up, that’s hit & run…


Anonymous #

That sucks! I’m glad you’re okay–but it’s still horrible. This is why I hate people.


sarah_q
Participant
#

wait, he offered you $100 then didn’t give it to you and drove away?????


Pierce
Participant
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Yeah, I was thinking maybe he went to go to the ATM, but then forgot he hadn’t yet got my contact info :P


pinky
Participant
#

That’s so shitty. Where do people even learn to behave like that?

< / humanity rant>

Are you feeling OK today?


cdavey
Participant
#

I am coming more and more to the conclusion that our culture teaches them its OK to be a sociopath and that you have to be one to be “successful”.


jonawebb
Participant
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I’m glad you weren’t hurt worse, Pierce. Having been there I know it’s not your first impulse to call the police, but it’s a good thing to try to remember. Had the police been involved and assuming the driver had insurance you would’ve gotten easily $500-$1000 covering damage to your bike and pain and suffering, and the driver would’ve gotten a good reminder to be more careful on his turns. Also, had you suffered any delayed injury, that would’ve been covered.


rice rocket
Participant
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Anymore info on the car?

Color? Model? Generation?


Mick
Participant
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I doubt there would be any repercussion to the driver from any of this, even if he was identified. “Hey, I stuck around enough to know the biker was OK. I didn’t realize he called the police. What $100? I never said that.”

@Pierce He takes some info and informs me that I have the wrong plate number.

I’m always skeptical about that. Typo’s with plate numbers are hard to avoid, of course, but did you have a typo or did the police?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

I’m tempted to say, if you don’t have a photo of the plate, you don’t have the plate.


Anonymous #

From my one experience having my mirror clipped, coming up Greenfield, the plate can get hazy very, very quickly even under the best of circumstances. Adrenaline just does that. The handlebar cam vs thread has info about a good deal on one cam. I’m going to get off my behind tonight and make a little demo video of the stupid wire hanger cell phone helmet mount. Not ideal, but it’s something most people can do right now whether or not they want to invest in a dedicated cam.


Pierce
Participant
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@cdavey

He did ask if I was physically okay several times, so I don’t chalk him up to being a sociopath, maybe just not good at parting with $100

@mick

I’m guessing I did. Might have got some numbers transposed or something.

@pinky

Feeling fine outside of the bruised area, will start riding again probably this weekend

@jonawebb

I’m thinking he might have skirted away earlier if I had tried to call the police right away. Not sure I could have gotten any help from the passing cars to block him in or something


jonawebb
Participant
#

I’ve been thinking about this and I think you got conned — though I can totally see myself doing the same thing after an accident, in the confusion etc.

He starts by asking if you’re OK, offering you money, etc., building trust. This is a classic con trick. Get the trust of the other person.

Then you ask to sit in the car, no problem. More trust, and also it keeps you from getting his license plate. Also since you’re in his space you’re not going to call the cops (which you could’ve without him skedaddling), that would be rude, right?

Then you get maneuvered out and he’s gone. Bingo, con done, you’re out a wheel and whatever damage he’s done to your body, he has no insurance issues, and he makes sure he doesn’t run into the cops on the way to you.


Pierce
Participant
#

He may indeed have been a smooth operator; I meant to add that I keep my phone in the top of my pannier, so didn’t have it on me when I was in his car


cdavey
Participant
#

@jonawebb — and that’s exactly why I made my comment about sociopaths. Everything he did here says to me that he didn’t give one rat’s ass about Pierce, or his bike, once he saw he could walk, talk, and was at least reasonably coherent.

Instead everything he did here says to me that he was very, very focused on how he could manipulate Pierce and the situation so he could get away with no responsibility or consequences to himself while he left Pierce holding the steaming bag of shit he just created and foisted off on him.

That sounds like a pretty good approximation to me of how a sociopathic mind works. Granted he may not be one, and instead is just a huge jerk and a dickhead, but I’m not inclined to be that kind.

I guess I am just pissed about this, and have lived long enough that I can get cycnical about things pretty easily sometimes.


Anonymous #

Totally sucks Pierce, I hope your side feels better soon- after talking to you and reading these posts, I’m feeling more pissed off about the whole situation.

A lot of traffic goes through that intersection on a constant basis. I’m surprised there isn’t a camera; its a major thoroughfare for local commuters.


quizbot
Participant
#

I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t ride with a helmet cam/equivalent particularly while commuting. Why not give yourself at least a fighting chance with tangible evidence when hit & either plainly shook up, concussed, debilitated, or dead?

Being nice and understanding with somebody who fucks you up with their car doesn’t seem to work out so well.


Pierce
Participant
#

I haven’t up to this point because a) I’m cheap b) don’t feel like having another thing to mess around with when leaving/arriving and c) don’t like participating in a world where the default assumption is that somebody is going to screw me over and I’m going to need proof of it

That being said, I have been thinking about getting one. I’ve been riding since 2007 and have been hit by one bus, three cars, and one SUV (which was the only one that was intentional)

Two front wheels is about the price of one of those cameras and I now have two bent up front wheels

As for being nice and understanding, there’s nothing saying the guy wouldn’t have run me over/assaulted me if I took a different approach

Plus, I’ve made mistakes before while driving/cycling.

For example, I used to think I had the right of way outbound on Friendship at the end of Friendship Park and didn’t yield to oncoming cars when making a left turn onto Gross and then gave the startled cars my “Hey! Watch it!” gesture


Pierce
Participant
#

Just thought of something funny while ruminating about my belief system, which is basically just nonviolent communication.

I didn’t want to spend $100 on a helmet cam, and hit and run guy didn’t want to spend $100 on a wheel. I can sympathize with not wanting to part with $100.


quizbot
Participant
#

Not trying to press my luck, but I’ve been riding in town since 90-91 (messegering w/triangle) and haven’t been hit by anything yet either in town or in the sticks.

Many close calls though.

“c) don’t like participating in a world where the default assumption is that somebody is going to screw me over and I’m going to need proof of it”

c) you can choose to not participate in the world, but you can not choose whether or not the world participates in you


Anonymous #

Pierce, glad the crash wasn’t worse and that you’re mostly ok. Just generally amazed at the zen attitude.

But certainly I relate to not wanting to spend 100$. If you’re not on the market for a camera now, either, this is what I did after my mirror was clipped recently and I was frustrated by having nothing to show:

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/anyone-with-a-smartphone-and-wire-hanger-can-record-their-rides


edmonds59
Participant
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^this: “b) don’t feel like having another thing to mess around with when leaving/arriving …”

Every “thing” I have to dick around with adds more drag to the act of getting out and riding.

Glad you’re OK Pierce.


Swalfoort
Participant
#

I don’t know that it was a con, exactly, but I think the whole time that Pierce is looking at the car for damage (silly boy, that was the driver’s responsibility), the driver and his girlfriend were trying to figure out how to make this all go away. So, with Pierce out of the car (and all the pieces of their car IN the car), they simply put the car in gear and left the scene.

Techincally, they did not share contact or insurance information. The victim (Pierce) MAY have mentioned something about requesting an ambulance, and if he did, the driver did nothing to a) call, b) ask his silent girlfriend to call c) get Pierce’s phone from the pannier and let Pierce call, or d) ask a bystander to call. Failing in all those responsibilities, I think there is no “kind of” here. I think it qualifies as a hit and run, albeit one that perhaps happened in a weird time warp, or by degrees.


Lenk42602
Participant
#

“What you do in the immediate aftermath of the accident may have a big impact on how much you recover for your injuries and damage to your bike. It may also affect the outcome of any lawsuits resulting from the accident.

Here’s what to do.

Wait for the Police to Arrive

It is vital that you wait for police to arrive at the accident scene so that they can take and file a police report — even if you think you are not injured. Some cyclists don’t realize they’ve been injured until several hours after the accident. And sometimes seemingly minor injuries later develop into serious and permanent problems. If you leave the accident scene, you may never be able to identify the at-fault driver.

Don’t attempt to negotiate with the driver. Many drivers initially apologize and accept blame, only to later deny their negligence or even deny they were present at the accident. Instead, wait for the police to come so they can document everything in the police report. Another advantage of waiting for the police: They may ticket the driver, which may be useful in settling the case with the insurance company.

Get Your Version of Events into the Accident Report

Sometimes, the police officer will take a statement from the motorist and not bother to talk to the cyclist. Do everything you can to get your side of the story into the police report. And by all means, report all of your injuries, no matter how minor. Remember, those minor injuries may later become more serious.

If, despite your efforts, the police refuse to include your statement in the accident report, you can later have the report amended.

Obtain Driver and Witness Contact Information

If possible, get the name of the automobile driver, as well as his or her address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information. In addition, try to get names and contact information for everyone who witnessed the accident. Don’t assume the police report will include all of this information — it might not. If you are injured and cannot get this information yourself, ask a bystander to do it for you.

Document What Happened

If you can, make mental notes about the accident: what happened; how it happened; where it occurred; when it occurred; and road, traffic, and weather conditions. Then, as soon as you are able, write all this information down. (To learn more about preserving evidence, see the article Take Notes After an Accident or Injury.)

Document Your Injuries

Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if they are minor. The fact that you sought medical attention will serve as proof that you were injured, and medical records will document the extent of those injuries. Have several photos taken of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident. Start a journal of your physical symptoms and make entries every few days.

Preserve Evidence

Leave your bike and other damaged property in the same state as after the accident — don’t attempt to fix anything or have anything inspected. Don’t wash your clothing. And don’t send your bike, helmet, or any other equipment to anyone other than your attorney. Take photos of your damaged equipment. (To learn more, see the article Personal Injury Accidents: Preserve Evidence.)

Seek Advice from a Professional

Many accidents between bikes and cars involve complex legal issues. You may want to consult a personal injury attorney who understands bicycling or has handled bike accident cases. (To learn more about finding an attorney, see Finding a Personal Injury Lawyeror go straight to Nolo’s lawyer directory.) Such an attorney can:

•advise you on how to proceed

•negotiate with the insurance companies, or

•represent you in a lawsuit.

Don’t communicate with the insurance companies before consulting an attorney. Anything you say to the insurance company could be used against you later. Sometimes a letter from an attorney to the insurance company will resolve issues while avoiding legal pitfalls. In fact, most injury cases are settled without ever going to trial.”


jonawebb
Participant
#

I’m trying to figure out how to handle the situation Pierce was in, with a possibly flighty driver. It might be a good idea to ask to sit inside the guy’s car and fake injury until the police get there (oh, man, I don’t feel so good. Could you call the police, please?) I think it would be less likely that the driver would throw you out of his car and then take off if he thought you were really injured. As far as the phone goes, usually there’s other people standing around so you could ask one of them to call the police. The key thing being if you think the driver is going to vamoose do something to keep them there until the police arrive.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Also, my phone, wallet, and keys never leave my person, except for showers and other nakedness, in the event of an accident, if I get separated from the bike, knocked unconscious, bike-jacked, whatever. Just saying, something to think about.


Kordite
Participant
#

I have contact and emergency information in a little neon-yellow holder on my helmet. Sort of like this http://www.vitalid.ca/product-category/motorcycle-id/ so that I am never separated from that. That is, unless I no longer have the helmet on. Or I’ve been decapitated.


melange396
Participant
#

if youve been decapitated, would you say “me and my head” or “me and my body”? what right does your body have to call itself “you”?

that was probably a little tasteless given the circumstances, but it is a favorite (paraphrased) quote of mine. its from a polanski film, which i never saw. i heard it as a sample in a skinny puppy song.

glad youre ok, pierce


Steven
Participant
#

if youve been decapitated, would you say “me and my head” or “me and my body”? what right does your body have to call itself “you”?

The bit that still has ID is you. The other bit can’t prove who it is. :-)

Glad it wasn’t worse, Pierce.


Anonymous #

<i>The bit that still has ID is you. The other bit can’t prove who it is. :-)</i>

And if you’ve have been decapitated naked?


Steven
Participant
#

That’s why you should always wear a helmet with your ID in it when you’re going to be decapitated naked.

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