AG: No Charges in Cycling Death
Another cyclist killed and no charges will be brought against the motorist. According to a Providence Journal article:
A criminal charge against a Westerly woman who fatally struck a Warwick man riding his bicycle in Charlestown will be dropped next week, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said yesterday
I have yet to figure out what I personally think an appropriate charge for this woman would be, but to just drop the case seems like a slap in the face of the cyclist’s family and, to a much lesser extent, the entire cycling community. After all, the police did find that the motorist was speeding
Police said she was traveling at about 60 miles an hour. The posted speed limit in the area is 50 miles an hour.
There was no indication that the cyclist was riding inappropriately, he was riding in the breakdown lane, with traffic. On the other hand, crime scene reconstructionists found the motorist had changed lanes to pass two other vehicles
As she was merging back into the right travel lane, she got distracted and continued right into the breakdown lane,” Healey said, quoting the accident reconstructionist. “At this point she is traveling 50 to 60 miles per hour. She is traveling in the breakdown lane for approximately 100 feet.
That would equate to driving on the breakdown lane for about a second, Healey said, noting that at 60 miles an hour a car travels approximately 90 feet per second.
Hurst told police she flipped down her sunvisor as she came up the hill before Kings Factory Road. The accident reconstructionist found that glare could be a factor given the time of day and location of the accident.
a spokesman from the AG’s office said they dropped the case because
“The only evidence of negligence against Ms. Hurst is that she was traveling at 60 miles per hour and driving in the breakdown lane (but for a period of time lasting just more than one second),” Healey said. “We found that this, clearly, could not be considered ‘reckless conduct’ under Rhode Island case law.”
I’m sorry, but a person was killed! I understand this was not a premeditated crime and accidents do happen. However, people need to take responsibility for their actions and even their mistakes. If a person can’t control their vehicle, perhaps they shouldn’t be driving one? If driving conditions are such that you are experiencing sun glare, how about slowing down to a safe speed? Why aren’t more people outraged at the apparent lack of compassion for a human life?
It’s another sad day for the cycling community.