Cyclist killed on Harts Run Rd.

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AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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My question did not intend for any readers of this board to take the information and act directly on the individual any form of retribution, harassment, etc.

Rather, it is a small world. Pittsburgh is a small town. Someone out there knows this kid’s name. I am wondering if the pubic release of the name wouldn’t shed some light onto WHY he has not yet been charged. Is he and/or his family being protected? Are they friendly with connected people?

And Stu, I certainly hope this kid learned a lesson. But unless and until he is made an example of, none of those other 8 million you referenced will give a crap. And even then, it is likely most will not anyway, but this should not go unpunished.


Nick D
Participant
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On somewhat related note, I spoke with the reporter who wrote the latest article in the Trib that talked about the removal of the ghost bike. She said her editor cut the article down and changed a lot of the wording. “drove off the side of the road and hit Parker.” were not her words.


spakbros
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That’s because the Trib is a tabloid at best


Greasefoot
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+1 dbacklover, It’s not the media’s job to educate anyone.

Driving a motor vehicle in the State of Pennsylvania is a privilege not a god given right. It’s up to the state to educate the people they grant a drivers license to. Other states have already started a movement to change the legal age of operating a motor vehicle to 18. Our state should also consider making the same change.


sloaps
Participant
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Nick,

The mainline number to PennDOT District 11 is (412) 429-5000. Ask for the address or number for the Saxonburg Storage Facility so you can get your bike.


Nick D
Participant
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Good call. I never thought about calling the mainline. I always just called the contacts I had–none of them call me back anymore.


sloaps
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There’s always Bob Mayo or Marty Griffin, if the mainline doesn’t work?


Al
Participant
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I received this email from the DA’s office July 7th but still have not heard of any decision being made. That was over three weeks ago and the case had been tuned over to the DA June 11th.

I apologize for the delay in answering your first email. My sympathies on the loss of your son. I ride about 12 miles a day on my bike so I’m aware of the things that can happen between bike riders and drivers. I know it’s hard to be patient right now, but we are still reviewing all of the information related to Don’s death.

District Attorney Zappala has made it a point to be extremely thorough in these types of investigations so that nothing is missed.

I will make sure that as soon as we are finished with our review, someone will be in touch with you and your husband.

Sincerely,

Mike Manko


Nick D
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Zappala is from Fox Chapel, right?


dwillen
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AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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That’s a sticky-wicket, then isn’t it. Do we (the Cycling Community) push Zappala for action on Don Parker, pursuing the Fox Chapel insider line of thinking…

Or do we back off and see what happens because we don’t want to appear unfriendly towards the DA, presuming that there’s little to be gained by embarrassing Zappala, and much to be gained in terms of support on other advocacy issues on the cycling agenda.

Just thinking out loud…


ejwme
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I think a gentle perusing to find out what’s going on is called for. What other cases is he handling that this hasn’t been able to get the resources to fully investigate what happened and take care of this? In other words, if anybody does approach him, maybe start off with the “well, gee, there must be some good reason, please share” rather than “there couldn’t possibly be a good reason, you suck”. If no good reason is presented, flame on. If good reason is presented, share here and support.

Theoretically he’s trying to do the right thing. A lot of the time it feels like here we’re fermenting in our own frustrated, helpless, and out of the loop fear/anger (understandably, I’m not knocking it, just pointing it out). Directing it toward the DA may not be the most productive solution.


Nick D
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I was on Harts Run Rd. today and noticed five feet past where the memorial was, Jack’s Pizza and Hoagies has errected a bright orange coroplast sign advertising $5.99 carry out pizzas. Although this sign is small (18″x24″), it is designed to distract you. Thus it is dangerous and should be removed.

I plan on calling Penndot tomorrow morning and notifying them that it is a distraction and should be removed as it could cause someone to get rear-ended by a reckless driver.


Impala26
Participant
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^^^^THIS

Now Nick, I’m not seriously advocating you doing that, but it clearly proves that the owner(s) of Jack’s Pizza don’t really care about driver safety. It almost confirms what I’ve believed all along that they came up with an excuse to make someone dispose of the Ghost Bike because they found it “unsightly”. Hell, their reasoning could have been that it freaked people out enough to drive away business.

That said, it brings me to another point. Is there any chance that a new ghost bike could be installed further down the hill on the road closer to the actual site of the accident? I still feel this is all classic rural suburbia NIMBY crap, so if the bike were further down away from everyone’s manicured lawns maybe no one would be so possessed to see the ghost bike removed again?

Just food for thought.


myddrin
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This is an insult, and I’m really tempted to assume that it has to be deliberate. I know, I know never assume conspiracy/jackassery when incompetence could be a reasonable explanation… but there is a limit to the level of incompetence I can imagine.

I was talking to a co-worker (not a cyclist, but sympathetic) who mentioned that one could purchase some advertising about this situation. Either a billboard, google adword or newspaper ad….

Not advocatin’, just sayin’


Greasefoot
Participant
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Most municipalities have ordinances regarding permanent and temporary business signs. In the North Hills I know the business needs to apply and pay for a permit for a temporary sign. If it’s a permanent sign they need to be approved by a zoning board. If Jack’s Pizza & Hoagies at 3565 Harts Run Rd has unlawfully set up a roadside sign you complain to the local municipality. They will send them a letter to remove the sign and possibly a citation.


Noah Mustion
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So what’s the word on putting up another ghost bike?


wojty
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I’m starting to think giant neon flashing billboard. Maybe if we make it commercial enough, no one will complain.


edmonds59
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Oh, heck yes, if it was for-profit there wouldn’t be a peep.


Nick D
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I am still waiting to hear back form the Audubon Society concerning putting it up on their land.

If anyone is interested in helping with this, get a hold of me off the board.


JZ
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http://www.postgazette.com/pg/10215/1077309-100.stm

Okay, so this woman committed the crime on Sunday. She’s already arraigned, and her preliminary hearing on on the 11th. What’s the holdup on filing charges against this killer?


Nick D
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From what I gather from the Assistant DA I spoke with last week, the issue is (they feel), the man who killed Donald Parker was nothing being excessively careless. Although I strongly disagree with that, it is not as cut and dry as a DUI man slaughter.

Personally, I still think the driver was extremely negligent, and to me, driving in flip-flops and driving with your head under the dash are just as dangerous and reckless–the law says otherwise.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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If he was handling a gun, reached down to fix his flip flop and the gun went off and killed his neighbor, was he still just being careless?


Nick D
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Given the current situation, if it were the same person, I feel like the Police and the DA would react the same….


eMcK
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Nick, that sounds like a loaded statement to me.


Nick D
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Ok?


eMcK
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It implies this individual wasn’t charged becasue of who he is, not the legality of his actions. Maybe I’m just reading more into it than I should.


dwillen
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I’m pretty sure that is the current theory, Eric. You are reading it correctly.


Nick D
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That is my current theory–though it is only based on speculation and the handling of other similar cases.


JZ
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At this point, it feels to me like the DA is dragging his feet on this one deliberately. If he does not intend to file charges, then he should say so, and attempt to justify why not. (I personally don’t think it’s justifiable.) What’s happened so far is that they’ve just mumbled about an ongoing investigation, but they never seem to have any progress, and given the situation, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to be investigated. So, he’s simply hoping that everyone will forget the whole thing and quietly go away.

My assumption is slightly different than Nick’s. I’m assuming this is because the victim was on a bicycle, and the DA’s office doesn’t give squat about cyclists, and would just as soon we were all dead. I certainly can’t say that Nick is wrong, though.

At this point, I think that if the DA wants to demonstrate a lack of negligence or malfeasance on his part, it’s up to him to step up and say something. Continued silence and inaction only further undermines his position.


JZ
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Er, clarification: I don’t think the DA can justify not filing charges. (I had a lot of negatives in my first paragraph.)


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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Unless anyone can cite some other instances where the DA has shown indifference toward auto v. cyclist events, the Fox Chapel link is awfully hard to overlook.

It raises suspicions that will only grow louder in the absence of either a) bringing charges, or b) publicly explaining why he has not/will not bring charges.


HiddenVariable
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is everyone in fox chapel a political juggernaut or something? these all strike me as rather crackpot theories, if you’ll pardon my saying so. the only evidence we have of anything is that no charges have been filed, yet. as to why this might be, we have just as much evidence that it’s because of the potential defendant’s family as we do that it was space aliens. it’s just as unlikely, in my opinion, that the DA thinks the only good cyclist is a dead cyclist.


bikeygirl
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I’ve stayed quiet on this issue for awhile now, and I’ll just summarize my thoughts on this since I’ve ranted enough in the past:

This whole thing is so f’up, there’s no where to start, and putting expletives all over the page won’t be enough for me…..

So here it goes….

SHAME on officials for their ongoing silence.

SHAME on the DA for showing what at this point looks like favoritism and preferential treatment towards his ‘community’ and ‘his people’ and whatever connections are at play in here, because at this point to doubt that favoritism –does– exist, would be naive…

SHAME on the Fox Chapel community for siding with the officials/DA/killer’s silence and not giving a flying ‘f^@#%’ about the victim.

SHAME on the stupid-ass people at the gas-station for requesting to take down Don Parker’s memorial for petty and callous reasons.

SHAME on the killer (sorry, at this point I can only describe the driver of the truck as a killer) for stupidly driving in such a careless way that he took someone’s life…. because yes, whoever you are, teenager, young adult, whatever…. YOU KILLED SOMEONE

SHAME on the family of the killer for not coming up and at least try to offer a sincere apology to Don’s family, and for being irresponsible parents who did not properly taught their offspring on being more careful on the road.

SHAME on the trolls who have come here to throw their stupid ‘it was an accident by just a kid’ theories.

And last but not least, SHAME SHAME SHAME on our current driving and road-laws for being so obtuse and incomplete in protecting cyclists.

Yeah yeah, NO ONE meant for this to happen. NO ONE set out to kill Don on purpose…… BUT EVERYONE is at this point GUILTY on such a mistreatment of justice, and GUILTY on properly acknowledging and addressing the situation.

SHAME on all of you, and SHAME in whatever conscience you might have.

There, the end……

If I’m wrong…. someone please prove me as such.

I’ll feel better once a new-permanent Ghost Bike goes up for Dan.

…. because yeah, sorry Dan, and my sincere condolences to your family and close ones, for being treated this way. My heart and respect goes out to you.


myddrin
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What bikeygirl said… with relish.


salty
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res ipsa loquitur


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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That about said it, Bikeygirl.


Nick D
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Scott forwarded me an email this morning from the family requesting that we do not put up another ghost bike on Harts Run Rd.

As per their request, I will discontinue any efforts to do so.

However, they mentioned the idea of erecting a memorial in another location popular to cyclists. I think this is a great idea and we will be discussing it soon.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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Is it possible the Parker family has asked the DA not to pursue charges?


bikeygirl
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Awesome Nick…. I’ve had been thinking about that too. To have a memorial where the people who care and that have been touched by this situation, can properly give the respect Don deserves.

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