Cyclist killed on Harts Run Rd.

← Back to Forums


Vannevar
Participant
#

Actually, there’s three deaths in 7 days, and four deaths over two months in the SW Pennsylvania area.

http://vannevar.blogspot.com/2010/05/dying-to-ride-bicycle.html

If this doesn’t prompt sustained action, what would?


asc.pgh
Participant
#

So far nothing has been stated regarding the driver who killed Don Parker.

Clear from this ought to be that if you hit a cyclist your future ought to be as permanantly affected as the person you hit.

Punishment for criminal offenses is supposed to stand as a deterrent to the behavior being addressed; hitting people with your vehicle is the primary negative behavior to address (people in other cars have a chance). Not enough deterrence this weekend.

I’m not talking night sweats and short lived self-doubt, I mean permanent record and indelible obligations.

You just killed a guy, what makes you worth going on and enjoying you life’s dreams now free of the burdens you just imposed on his family?

Punishment is not the objective, making drivers aware that their car is no escape pod from reality. If your life stinks, driving offers no force field form the responsibilities you bear for wielding it. Gun laws demonstrate this concept much more clearly despite vehicles having produced much more death.


quizbot
Participant
#

Trib article says the driver was a student. http://m.triblive.com/triblive/pm_5903/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=j07bKo96

Probably was DUIT (driving under influence of texting).


Lyle
Participant
#

he was the most visible, safest biker I ever had the pleasure of meeting. Never once did I see Don take the lane over sticking to the right side of the road.

Hey, Riotof? I don’t want to hijack this thread, but this comment makes me think you might be misunderstanding the reason that cyclists “take the lane.” If you’re still hanging around, let’s create a new thread for that discussion…


edmonds59
Participant
#

Ok, the ghost bike is placed, the ride of silence has been done, when do we find out what charges are going to be filed against the driver? There has been a deafening silence on that front. And if the answer is “none”, i have a serious problem with that. I don’t care who it was or how it may impact their life, there needs to be punishment, and their drivers license needs to go away FOREVER.


scott
Keymaster
#

Sometimes it takes months before an investigation is done and charges are filed.


sarah_q
Participant
#

If I rear ended someone in a car with my car and killed somebody, I don’t think it would take months to investigate.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

@asc.pgh your response is especially poignant. I hope answers are found in the short term.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

@quizbot I’m finding this article especially moving.

He was riding his bike to get to work and help him prepare for the annual multiple sclerosis benefit ride,? Wilder said. ?He always rode the same way. It took him an hour from his home. When he wasn’t there when we arrived, we knew something was wrong.

jesus.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

it also just struck me what it must take to be killed by being hit from a driver from behind. it is one thing to be killed in a head-on, it is another to be killed from being hit from behind where I would assume the driver of the vehicle would be in the process of an emergency braking when they made contact with the bicyclist.


edmonds59
Participant
#

On memorial day morning, in the brief time we were at the incident location, a couple dozen cars passed us, many easily going over the speed limit, flying up to the intersection and braking at the last minute, if at all. And this is at 8:00 fraking am. on a holiday morning. This road has apparently become a shortcut between route 8 and 28, and all the suburban “plans” that have been built up in this previously rural area. It’s likely that the road system is completely unprepared for the development that has occurred, so in addition to “distraction” or whatever, I think suburban sprawl played a part in this man’s death as well.


saltm513
Participant
#

I think it was when Marko and I were riding together that there was a guy who, after passing probably .25 miles of cyclists, yelled out his window for us to get off the effing road.


edmonds59
Participant
#

I think I saw that guy too, in a little p.o.s. 4 door, on the climb on the way back. He started to say something at me and then started to fade off. Maybe he could sense that at that point I would have slammed his head in his own car door.

BTW, salt, sorry for running into your back wheel on that climb, that was me, I was too close when you stalled.


sloaps
Participant
#

Last Monday when I was in Harrisburg there were a couple hundred motorcyclists at the Capitol making speeches in an attempt to raise awareness of them on the roads.

http://www.livefreeridealive.com/

Perhaps we should do the same sometime?


Ohiojeff
Participant
#

Last Monday when I was in Harrisburg there were a couple hundred motorcyclists at the Capitol making speeches in an attempt to raise awareness of them on the roads.

http://www.livefreeridealive.com/

Perhaps we should do the same sometime?

Unless I’ve very much mistaken, that’s what this (relatively) new group is all about.

http://www.pawalksandbikes.org/

Bike-Pgh is a part of this I believe.


Lyle
Participant
#

I would assume the driver of the vehicle would be in the process of an emergency braking when they made contact with the bicyclist.

You would be mistaken :( I looked for skid marks on the road. There were none. Emergency braking requires first seeing the bicycle in front of you. That’s hard to do when you’re sending a text message.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Agreed Lyle. In my mental construct of this thing, there was no last minute braking at all, he had to have been hit full speed, he was never even seen. On dry pavement, going up that hill, any braking at all would have reduced the car’s speed instantly. And an experienced cyclist would have headed for the ditch.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Who would be the political contacts out there? Local council, Representatives, etc? I think now in the aftermath would be the time for individuals to send letters to those people, with strong wording demanding that this case be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, even that it be made a precedent. This situation is so clear cut, straight road, clear weather, experienced cyclist doing everything by the book. There are 0 extenuating circumstances. I think the non-cycling community out there would agree as well. And demand a public statement from the representatives regarding this, this can not be left only to the police.


Marko82
Participant
#

I’m glad I decided to get up early yesterday and participate in the Silent Ride. I was amazed at how many people showed up and even more amazed at how well the local media covered both the ride and Sunday nights placing of the ghost bike. I live in the southern end of the city, so I don’t usually ride up in the north hills. My first impression of the roads was that they were very nice compared to what I normally ride on (Freeport road being the extreme exception). The pavement is really smooth with freshly painted line markings and there was way more road shoulder than I experience on the southern roads. Don’s commute through the tree covered ravines was beautiful and I’m sure he enjoyed logging all those miles on his bike.

However – While riding along in a group of eighty or so riders on a holiday Sunday morning I saw SEVERAL dangerous acts by motorists. The most egregious was a woman in a tan jaguar sedan who sped past our group on the wrong side of the yellow line not more than a quarter mile from the accident site! Thankfully there wasn’t a car speeding down the other direction or lots of people could have been going to the hospital. Then there was the a-hole in a dark sedan with New York plates that just had to pass a small group of us going down hill even though we were going 24 MPH at the time. He then had to slam on his brakes when he approached the main body of our riders as we all caught up to each other. There was the jerk in the pickup truck who yelled get-the-F-off-the-road to us after passing a quarter mile long line of cyclist. There was the elderly couple who rode my wheel for more than a half mile because the driver was afraid to pass us even though we were all single file at that point and there was plenty of room to safely pass. My point is to say that it was sad to see how bad the drivers in this area are towards cyclist and I assume to other vehicles too. On a ride to commemorate a traffic death, some drivers simply do not care about others.

However part 2 – We did have a lot of cars giving us the positive-type honking of the horn as they drove by, as well as some motorist being very patient waiting for the group to pass to make left turns, etc. So maybe the world isn’t all bad. But please do your best to be seen and be safe. I don’t want to get up at 5 a.m. to do another commemorative ride.


Swalfoort
Participant
#

I saw a piece on the local news (forget which station) and the it showed a little of the vehicle. The damage made me wonder the same thing. The damage that I saw was on the passenger side of the windshield. It was completely busted in, but only at the extreme edge where the windshield starts curving around to meet the post between the windshield and the passenger door. (There might have been significant other damage to the car, of course.)

Glancing blow? Hard enough to kill a helmeted cyclist?

There must have been some serious speed involved for that kind of vehicle damage and personal injury.


reddan
Keymaster
#

Unsubstantiated third-hand report (i.e., I have no link nor proof) is that the kid who was driving was not texting, but had somehow gotten his %^&*ing flip-flop (!!!) caught on the accelerator. He bent down to free it, and that’s when he hit Don.

Dunno if it’s true (and it excuses nothing), but would certainly explain why there was no braking.


edmonds59
Participant
#

I believe the next best step is for concerned individuals to write personal letters demanding action, to as many of these people as possible, political pressure.

Political Representatives for Indiana Twp area;

Local municipality, Indiana Township:

MAYOR JEFFREY D. PECK (R), District 2

412-512-4504

DEPUTY MAYOR DANIEL TAYLOR (R), District 4

412-486-0109

M. Bart Buckley (R), District 1

412-767-5446

George E. Dull, Jr. (R), District 5

412-963-7340

Darrin J. Krally (R), District 3

412-828-6881

All at –

3710 Saxonburg Blvd.

Pittsburgh , PA 15238-1068

Allegheny County:

Dan Onorato

Allegheny County Courthouse

436 Grant Street Room 101

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: (412) 350-6500 Fax: (412) 350-6512

Pa State Representative, District 33:

Hon. Frank Dermody

1331 Freeport Road

Cheswick, PA 15024

(724) 274-4770

Fax: (724) 274-8814

Pa State Senate, District 38:

Jim Ferlo

3519 Butler Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15201

(412) 621-3006


dwillen
Participant
#

There was a nice piece from the Trib that talked about Don’s life (not the accident) and I didn’t see a link here.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_683722.html


Lyle
Participant
#

Hey Marko, I’m going to offer an alternative interpretation of a couple of these.

The most egregious was a woman in a tan jaguar sedan who sped past our group on the wrong side of the yellow line not more than a quarter mile from the accident site!

I don’t recall seeing this, so I can’t say how dangerous this was, but I am generally pretty happy when motorists change lanes completely while passing. Doing it fast just minimizes the amount of time they’re out there in the oncoming lane.

It’s best if they don’t have to stay out there for an unduly long time, which is why I encourage group rides to leave a substantial gap between every six riders, so that motorists can pass and then insert themselves back into the proper lane safely. Yesterday’s ride was a special case, though.

There was the elderly couple who rode my wheel for more than a half mile because the driver was afraid to pass us even though we were all single file at that point and there was plenty of room to safely pass.

Afraid? Or just patient? Maybe even supportive of our purpose. Sitting there and not honking is pretty positive…

I think you were with the group that missed the turn onto browns hill rd, weren’t you? Maybe that’s why I don’t remember the tan jag.


erok
Keymaster
#

Last Monday when I was in Harrisburg there were a couple hundred motorcyclists at the Capitol making speeches in an attempt to raise awareness of them on the roads.

We just got back from the second annual PA Bike Summit, which was exactly that. there was a rally on the steps of the cap, several supportive PA Reps and Senators gave speeches, then we went inside and had meeting with our reps to talk about these issues. there is currently a bill going thru about distracted driving as well as one about a 4-ft passing law that we went in to talk to them about.


brian j
Participant
#

@lyle: I think when you hear a car gun past you, you assume that the driver is pissed, rather than just getting out of the way. Same with a driver sitting on your wheel. I agree with you, though–I’d rather a driver do one of those things rather than brush me (or worse).


eMcK
Participant
#

The tan jag inserted itself into a gap towards the back of the pack as we rode up Hart’s Run towards the ghost bike.


saltm513
Participant
#

@edmonds, no problem, sorry about the stall! be sure to introduce yourself next time! looking forward to meeting you.


sloaps
Participant
#

We just got back from the second annual PA Bike Summit, which was exactly that.

@erok That was this past May 4, right???

I was wicked busy with the ASCE Report Card (shameless plug) – bike summit slipped through the cracks…


Marko82
Participant
#

No Lyle, I think my interpretation is accurate. The tan Jag passed at least twenty bikes in the lane (about a dozen car lengths or more). She had NO place to go if a car was coming from the other direction! She put herself and numerous cyclists in danger. Unfortunately this was not me not knowing the difference between a safe act and an unsafe one, and several of us commented on it at the time. And the elderly guy was white-knuckled scared. He had a death grip on the wheel and was intensely staring straight ahead despite my attempts to make eye contact. Since we were only going about 10MPH while he was behind/beside me I didn’t feel what he was doing was particularly unsafe, I just wanted to mention it because scared drivers are usually not good drivers.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

the jaguar came off of mallard, which is off of harts run right where we rode up, and was doing 50 past us toward dorseyville. i remember thinking “there’s an idiot who’s trying to get us killed”, but i don’t remember the specifics of why i felt like that, other than we were taking the whole lane, and she was going considerably faster than was safe.


dwillen
Participant
#

Yea, the jag pulled out of some fancy gated community looking place. Turned left into a gap in the cyclists and tried to pass multiple times. What I don’t get is why this person didn’t turn right, and go a different way, or just wait until the cyclists have passed.


Lyle
Participant
#

Ah. I was at the back riding with the guy who got knocked down and hurt, so that’s why I missed the jag.


reddan
Keymaster
#

@lyle: who was hurt? What happened?

(Jaguar driven by woman: jag-hag?)


eMcK
Participant
#

I thought I saw a few riders picking themselves up off the ground at the intersection of Dorseyville and Brownshill. I was pretty far back, and everyone was riding by the time I got there, so I figured no one got hurt.


edmonds59
Participant
#

I was about 100 yds back, but it looked like it was a riding-too-slow-couldn’t-unclip-tipover, wasn’t it?

I almost did the same but got unclipped with about 60 degrees left before the ground.


bikeygirl
Participant
#

Man… I was so concentrated in riding my bike, I didn’t notice the other ‘happenings’ during the ride, although I do remember seeing the jaguar.

It would have been nice to put bikepgh/forum names from here, with faces during the ride. I was wearing an orange helmet, and was also the person whose derailer & chain got screwy during the beginning of the ride, although after that things went without a glitch with it.

It was nice to participate on this, and to see everyone there showing their support :)

AND nice to meet Dwillen and Stef finally too :)


Marko82
Participant
#

Bikeygirl, I was the guy in neon yellow (which I seem to wear alot) who helped escort Stef back to the car.


Lyle
Participant
#

At the intersection of Squaw Run and Old Mill, the road turns up hill. Several riders were unprepared for the uphill, found themselves in too high a gear, and painted themselves into a corner. (holding, when they really should have folded). One of them fell over (“stumbled”, her friend said — she didn’t actually hit the road, and she was just using plain old platform pedals) and bumped into someone else down which started a domino cascade. The guy on the bottom of the pile said that someone’s helmet or bicycle landed on his hip. Not too serious, but it slowed him down.

By the time I got to Brownshill rd, everybody else was long gone, so I missed that one.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

the fella who pulled a horizontal track stand on dorseyville at browns hill wasn’t prepared to stop and the car in front of us slammed on its brakes, so he fell into me. he was fine, though, he said.

← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Supported by