Bike collision?, Swinburne at 2nd, 28 July

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Kordite
Participant
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At 5pm where Swinburne Street meets 2nd Avenue, there was a firetruck hosing down the street, two police cars blocking traffic and a crushed bicycle nearby. The vehicle (which I assumed had spilled gas that was being hosed away by the firemen) had been towed. Any ambulances that were likely on the scene were long gone.

Anyone know what happened?


chinston
Participant
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chinston
Participant
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It is possible that the van was turning left onto Swinburne and failed to yield to the bike traveling west on Second, if the article is right.


robjdlc
Participant
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I almost picked up that bike to drop off at free ride about 10 minutes ago, figured it was abandoned.


Lyle
Participant
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It was still there 30 minutes ago. Someone should pick it up and tell the police so maybe the owner would be able to get it back


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Is that the intersection you turn left at after exiting the parking lot at the end of the jail trail to head toward Junction Hollow?

The story said he was traveling in bound and hit the passenger side – van must have been turning right.

Hmm. Who hit who. If he’s traveling straight, and the van turns right, the van’s at fault, right?

Hope he’s ok.


salty
Participant
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If the story is correct (cyclist “inbound on 2nd”, “slammed into the passenger side” of minivan), it sounds like chinston has it right. But of course the story makes it sound like the cyclist’s fault. Hope he is ok.


salty
Participant
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ah, that’s true, right hook is another possibility.


helen s
Participant
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A few years ago I was the first to come upon and a witness of two cyclist accidents in and near Schenley Park where they had to be taken in an ambulance. In both cases, I gave them contact info, locked their bikes, rode home and retrieved the bikes by car. They were picked up in a day and a week respectively.

I am surprised no one offered to help with the bike and it just sat there.


rsprake
Participant
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Something is fishy with this story. How could he have “slammed” into the passenger side hard enough to cause that much damage to the van?

Hope everyone is OK.


dwillen
Participant
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When I got hit the cop tried calling my house for someone to come pick up my bike, but couldn’t get an answer so he tossed it in the back of his car and took it to the station. Great cop.

I hope the cyclist is okay.


Greasefoot
Participant
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I picked up the bike and it’s now locked up on my balcony.

I hope this person is ok, the bike is a mess. I’ll try & track down the owner. If anyone finds out this person’s name let me know.


Ahlir
Participant
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This thread makes me feel good about being a cyclist in Pittsburgh.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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only time i’ve ever hit the passenger side of a van, it had turned left in front of me as i entered the intersection at 15-20 mph. i don’t think i dented the thing, and i carry around a good bit of mass with me. i’m sure we’ll hear more about this. hope everyone is ok, and good on you for grabbing the bike, greasefoot.


edmonds59
Participant
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Greasefoot, have you called the police station for that zone to let them know you have the persons bike? I would say do that, and give them your information, that’s probably the first place the owner would call to find it.


scott
Keymaster
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Thanks Greasefoot for picking up the bike. I hope the owner finds this thread, but more so I just hope he is ok.

I really dislike how that article is written. A bicyclist just “slammed into the passenger side of the van” without the driver of the van somehow having nothing to do with this crash? Come on…

I will try my best to find out more details today.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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maybe they lost control. that seems to be the biggest issue in car/cyclist interactions.


Greasefoot
Participant
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I talked to someone from Zone 4 this morning and they said the police should have picked up the bike after the accident. He said to call 911 when I get home and they will send someone out to pick up the bike.


chinston
Participant
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I agree that I didn’t like the way the article was written. As others have said, the phrase “slammed into the side” smuggles in some unspoken assumptions about fault and agency here, when we really don’t know much.


JZ
Participant
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I think that other recent incidents (Don Parkar, David Smith) have demonstrated that law enforcement automatically assumes that the cyclist is at fault, and proceeds accordingly. Even if the motorist is demonstrated to be completetly in the wrong, they face no consequences.


rsprake
Participant
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“Slammed” is such a childish word to use.

I am starting to think the story is wrong. Whether or not it was the driver of the van or the reporter who got it wrong I don’t know.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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dbacklover
Participant
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Stu

I think it is SC instead of WV, not that it matters much, again the police were quick to blame cyclist


Tabby
Participant
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that the police just left his bike at the scene is a huge oversight. I mean seriously?? You respond to an accident and just leave one of the vehicles at the side of the road???

I’m also not loving the way the reporter wrote up the incident. Always seems that bicyclists and motorcyclists are the only ones who go “slamming” into other vehicles. It’s not like the van was a stationary object here. My money is on the cyclist slammed into the side of the van after it cut him off to turn…and without a turn signal.


edmonds59
Participant
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Where did the freaking gasoline come from that they had to hose off the road? Is it possible someone else dumped gas on the road and they both lost control?


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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sure it was gas? easily could have been blood.


Kordite
Participant
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The firemen were there for quite a long time and were using a lot of water. Unless someone was decapitated and all the blood was squeezed out like a toothpaste tube I can’t imagine them needing that much water to clean the street.

On the other hand, I find it hard to imagine the kind of damage that a bike “slamming into the passenger side” of a minivan that could require hosing down the street. Any cyclist moving fast enough to break the gas tank would be reduced to the consistency of chunky salsa and would not have been taken to the hospital.

The damage to the bike is consistent with a cyclist hitting the side of a vehicle at 10-15 mph.


Erica
Participant
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In high school I slammed into the side of a slow moving truck (it was raining and my brakes didn’t work when wet, so the driver was understanding), and there was no damage to either my bike or the truck. I know it’s not the same, but I’m just throwing that out there.


Greasefoot
Participant
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I hate to speculate what happened but what the reporter said does not make sense or is incomplete. The person riding the bike probably came down Swinburne and was making a right on to 2nd av (inbound). Maybe the bike had a problem with its braks or the person was doing a quick right on red.


salty
Participant
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If the bike was on 2nd, the van turning left or right(-hook) are possibilities – why doesn’t that make sense?

While searching for more info on this crash (which I could not find), I came across an article about a cyclist killed in Florida this morning (which I posted in another thread) – and closer to home, a teenager (pedestrian?) that got hit in Brentwood last night:

http://www.wpxi.com/news/24434220/detail.html

Geez, the news can always be counted on to be depressing.


Kordite
Participant
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I think chinston has it right up at the top, If the reporting of the cyclist being inbound on 2nd and striking the passenger side of the minivan is correct, the only way it could have panned out is that the minivan was turning onto Swinburne from outbound on Second.

I could imagine a driver seeing the cyclist coming down 2nd and assuming he was going to slow down to turn onto Swinburne and thus cutting him off. I could also imagine the driver not seeing the cyclist clearly, believing him to be behind the jersey barriers and thus cutting him off. I could also imagine a driver not expecting a bike to be on 2nd, not seeing the cyclist at all and thus cutting him off.

In all those cases, the cyclist had the right of way and the driver is at fault for cutting him off.

Speculation, though. It’d be good to know what really happened.


Greasefoot
Participant
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The reason I mentioned the other situation was because I saw someone ride down Swinburne on a bike last night. They came down the hill at a good speed and did a slow and go at the intersection on to 2nd av. It was dark and the person had a light on the front of their bike but I thought it was a bold move. This is a blind intersection out of a tunnel at the bottom of a hill.


spakbros
Participant
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None of the data makes sense when compared to te photo.

Swinburne is a good 100 yards up Greenfield Ave from the scene. Saline St. is the street that goes into the run there. The photo I saw showed the intersection of Second and Greenfield right by the curve in the cattle chute.

Edit:

oops, looked at that totally wrong

Is that little access road actually part of Swinburne? The whole thing makes more sense now that I look at it again.

It is possible that the fire trucks were hosing fluids from a car on car crash i.e., the cyclist hit the van which in turn hit another car? Who knows but none of the story makes any sense at all at this point


chinston
Participant
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Yes, the little access road is, or at least used to be, Swinburne. Though it’s confusing because if you look at google maps, that’s not apparent.


jl
Participant
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I drove by this shortly after it happened, and there was a significant amount of blood on the road. It looked pretty scary.


JCME
Participant
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Hey. I am going to speculate and say the individual that was hit was a CMU co-worker/intern where I work. From an e-mail I received, this person “is just a little bruised and banged

and will be able to recover in a few weeks.”


caitlin
Participant
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scott and bike pgh—is there anyway to do a media training for reporting bike accidents fairly? i mean who knows if anyone would attend, but, i mean……. these articles aren’t helping us out here. :(


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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We did talk about this topic a couple months ago, in this thread (and to a lesser extent, this one). It’s also come up a couple times in the Don Parker thread.

If all we did was come up with a list of Things To Not Say In Your Story, and another list of Things To Make Sure You Look For, that might be all they really need.

Change the template.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Worked in public relations in a previous life… lecturing media about how to do their job will only make them resentful.

I’m sure Bike Pgh has knowledgeable folks who have assembled the kind of “Did You Know” information PR flacks are known for distributing to relevant media. (You know, citing relevant data, etc.)

Perhaps a PR push in the education direction would produce the side benefit of updating some of the local media on these accident-related issues.


jimmyray
Participant
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I also passed by shortly after it happened. It was very gruesome, and I was worried the cyclist wasn’t going to make it. I guess he survived, or we would have read about it. At the scene, I was told he came down Swinburne into Second Avenue traffic. Perhaps his brakes failed. An unmarked police car had its lights flashing. It appeared that the police in the car may have witnessed the accident, so it’s unclear why more detail was not provided in the brief news report. It is a dangerous intersection. It’s a bit of a hassle to slow down and ride on the trail behind the Jersey barriers there, but I think it’s better than risking the traffic. I’m sorry I didn’t think to do anything about the bicycle. Coming on the scene was quite shocking, and I was pretty shaken up just seeing it.

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