20151120 Driver charged in death of Taylor Lee Banks on Route 51

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jonawebb
Participant
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This is this Saturday, at 10 AM.
Please come if you can; the family is looking forward to it.
I won’t be riding out; Route 51 is a dangerous road and I’m avoiding it when I can. I’ll drive and meet you there.


jonawebb
Participant
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This is tomorrow, 10 am. Please come; it would mean a lot to the family. We’ll be escorted by motorcyclists to and from the ghost bike spot.
We’ll meet here.


jonawebb
Participant
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During today’s ride, there was a crash. Just where Taylor’s Ghost Bike is, at the point where he was killed, an impatient motorist tried to get around the motorcyclists and caused three of the motorbikes to go down. One of the motorcyclists was flat on his back on the road while we waited for an ambulance; he was conscious the whole time. His passenger also went to the hospital, because she was shaken up. Two of the motorbikes were taken off on a trailer. Mikhail has photos.
None of the bicyclists were hurt.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Wow, sorry to hear about the accident! That’s awful! Was there any police escort?

I wonder if the local newspapers would be interested to hear about it, as it would reinforce the argument that this road is too dangerous.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to join you for the memorial ride.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Chilling, because if I had made it there, I would have been on motorcycle.

i intended to go, but something came up at work and I had to travel in to the office. Had I gotten done about 20 minutes sooner, I planned to make the trip to Monaca.


Vannevar
Participant
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did the driver stop?


Mikhail
Member
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Yes, driver did stop. He claimed that he did not see motorcyclists. Which is bogus, IMHO. Based on the pictures I took car bumper (plastic one) does not have any visible damages. Rear fender of motorcycle (I believe aluminum one has clear damages corresponding to the front bumper. I think speed of impact was below 5 mph. In any case this was a point where right lane has been closed (just in front of us) and speed of left lane was reduced and motorcyclist get to the lane early to slow it down and to let us to merge safely.


jonawebb
Participant
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I heard today that the two motorcyclists taken to the hospital have been released.


jonawebb
Participant
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I just saw on Beth Ann Banks Facebook account that Taylor Banks Ghost Bike has been destroyed.
“I’ve got pictures Jeff they drove right up the median and took out the bike and the sign it was anchored too. Then drove down grass and on the road and drove away.”
Does anyone feel like making a new one, and helping the family out?

PS: Just heard from Beth Ann: our Vannevar is already on it. Thanks, V!


Vannevar
Participant
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I had a call from BethAnn today, Jon. I told her I’d replace the Ghost Bike, that’s no big deal. Late this afternoon I drove by the location. Somebody drove their vehicle up onto the median, which has a rather significant curb, up the hill, and drove over the ghost bike and the street sign it was affixed to.

I can’t imagine it was intentional – just speculating – because they must have done damage to their own vehicle to take out the sign. It wasn’t just knocked down, it was pulled out of the ground, mangled, and carried a ways.

Disappointingly, there’s another Ghost Bike about 2 or 3 miles south on Route 51, marking Arthur Bell’s death. That bike and the signpost it’s mounted to were also knocked down by a car.

It’s a terrible indication of how out of control that roadway (State Bike Route A) is, and I guess of  most roads in general. But I’ll get another bike and put it up.

VB


paulheckbert
Moderator
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Thanks, Vannevar!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The bikes are replaceable. All the ribbons and other memorabilia … Can we recover and reattach that, too?

Also, please check on the girl’s bike by the Sewickley bridge. If all three are damaged, that’s a strong sign of intentionality. I’d try to photograph tire tracks and look for other evidence. I’m envisioning a couple of yahoos with a big truck, looking for trouble.


jonawebb
Participant
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Yahoos in a truck have a lot of ways of intentionally destroying stuff without also seriously screwing up their truck. They could, for example, throw a chain around the bike and their trailer hitch and take off. Given the damage Vannevar described, I think it’s more likely just a drunk.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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V, please get some photos of the damaged bike(s). It should be possible to tell from the scrape marks if this was accidental or intentional, as in Jon’s suggestion, above. Thanks.


Vannevar
Participant
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No. There’s no indication of intentionality. I’ve been at both scenes the day-of and the day-after, and neither were anything nefarious – other than people losing control of their vehicles.

Regarding the ribbons – I talked with Beth Anne about that. After more than two years outside, the ink has faded and the ribbons have sort of self-fused; it doesn’t seem practical to remove and replace them. I’ve suggested to Beth that she keep the original ribbons in a box as a keep-sake (she liked that idea). I’ll put some new/blank ribbons on the new bike.

In this photo, the bike and the sign were both originally at the location where you see the flowers. The car left the roadway, went up on the grass, hit the bike& sign and quite possibly hit the back of the divider, several posts are displaced.

 

 

the problem with these photos: a family friend got to the scene, and put the flowers back into position before the photos were taken. So these aren’t actually representative of what it looked like right after the event; the flowers and small fence were re-assembled.

The Ghost Bike really means a lot to the family. I’d like to say: thank you to everybody who came out to the Great Exurb for this ride, it was a good cause.

 

 

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