Friday, February 01, 2008

Low Probability Crash

Yesterday morning, just about the time I was starting to wonder "where's Louise?", we got the call at the Bicycle Alliance. Louise McGrody, our friend and colleague, had been struck by a truck as she was riding her bike to work. At first, details were sketchy. Louise and another cyclist had been hit from behind while they were stopped at a red light. Both Louise and the other cyclist (a 70 year old fellow) had been taken to the hospital. It turned out Louise had four broken ribs and the other rider had a fractured shoulder and hip.

Once we went through the initial "is Louise OK?" concern and got the "she's not, but she will be" we moved onto the "how's her bike?" discussion. But even before we extended our concern to Louise's battered Trek, we each remarked, in the way that only bike safety wonks can remark, "you know, that's a really low probability crash!"

It's true, even though it's human nature to fear being struck from behind, statistically it's a very rare type of bike crash. We speculated about the driver being distracted by a cell phone or tuning the radio. We never guessed how strange the real story would be.

Louise was struck by a truck with no driver. The story is here:

Be careful out there.


Brendon said...

Yikes! What a freak accident...

Here's to a swift and full recovery for the injured.

Grendel said...

Can you say criminal negligence? Not sure what the cyclists are going to do with that crane they now own.

Revrunner said...

Strange things happen. I know someone who was struck by a wheel that had come off of a trailer. The wheel sheered off where rust had developed around the lugs.

Anonymous said...

" Yet more evidence suggesting that getting around via muscle power pays off: "

Be safe out there... - N.E.

jim g said...

That seems like a strange mis-use of construction equipment! Why would anyone use a HUGE crane like that to tow a small pickup truck? Driving an oversized piece of equipment such as that on a public roadway has to be tough enough, why add the additional challenge and responsibility of TOWING ANOTHER VEHICLE into the mix? Sheesh... There's a huge liability right there.

And I wonder -- who's liable for the cyclists' injuries here -- the pickup truck's insurance, or the crane's?

Truly odd, and quite outrageous too. It's especially frightening to think that they were JUST STOPPED AT A LIGHT.

Dante said...

This is why it is our duty to run every red light and stop sign we can find. Better to be a moving target.