So, this guy Ryan sends Gnome and I a lot of emails. I post most, if not all, of them. This one was a complete and total kick in the nuts. I have asked him to start contributing to Drunkcyclist directly, enough with the me posting his emails routine. We’ll see if he goes for it.
I hope he does.
Subject: Legally Speaking
this is fucked up: velonews.com/legally-speaking-with-bob-mionske
I am sad, angered and filled with bewilderment at our legal system and even morose with the individuals out there on the road driving coffins. Lately, it feels like we as cyclists, have no legal rights, nor are those whose job it is to protect us doing so. In fact, the authoritative figures are taking a backseat laisse fair attitude when it comes to citations and prosecution. I myself am fortunate enough to have endured a civil case sitting on the prosecuting end of things and found justice, as well as dealt with no less than 5 of Tucson’s finest (insert joke) who came to our aid after some WT decided she had more of a right to the bike lane than we did and decided she would try 4 times to hit me/run me off the road. She was cited as well. Now, there’s the incident with the douche in the F150 this morning who thought it would be wise to stick a wheel into the bike lane and run me into a low-hanging mesquite. For close to a mile I TT’d it and caught him at a stop light. Despite his window being up, I shared with him and his occupant my glee for his actions and that, by law, I get 3-5 feet. You know, helmets can save lives, as it did mine. But, helmets also can make for good pummeling devices when needed. I’m just waiting for the time I will use mine to permanently alter some motorists complexion.
NEW Giro Hamfist helmet. Just like the Atmos, with more vents and an even stiffer shell. Great for pummeling no-talent asshat motorists. Coming to a bike shop near you!
From the Velonew piece (which you should read, in its entirety, immediately) by Bob Mionske is titled “When justice fails.”
Yeah, I’ll say justice failed. It failed Big Time.
Nineteen-year-old Autumn Grohowski was on her cell phone with her dad, just letting him know she would be home soon. It was June, a summer night in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and Autumn was approaching the trail she would take home. She was on her bike, and mindful of her safety, so she kept the call short — she told her dad “I don’t want to be killed by a car, so I don’t want to talk on the phone on the way home.”
Those were her last words.
As she headed south on Fourth Street, Autumn, an award-winning student with plans to become a visual artist, approached the junction with the trail, which ran near a railroad track. She noticed that the railroad warning lights were flashing, and the safety arms were swinging down, indicating that a train was coming. No problem, her turn was just before the railroad crossing anyway, so she began to make her left turn, riding across the centerline, into the oncoming traffic lane, before turning onto the trail. She never finished her turn.
… a week later, charges were filed although they were not the charges Kris Grohowski would have expected for the man who took his daughter’s life. Gregory Moyer was charged with DUI, hit and run with death, careless driving, and not yielding to railroad warning signals. He was not charged with homicide by vehicle, because District Attorney Arnold felt “there’s blame on both sides.”
As the District Attorney explained, “In this instance, Autumn Grohowski’s actions also played a role in causing this accident and a pretty significant role in that. She was, by eyewitness accounts, traveling in the middle of Mr. Moyer’s lane.”
And that determination — that Autumn was partly to blame for the crash that took her life — was at the root of the District Attorney’s decision not to file vehicular homicide charges.
…Six month’s later, Grohowski’s relief that his daughter would have justice turned to disbelief when the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the hit and run charge. Moyer hung his head and cried as the verdict was read. The jury had been convinced by Moyer’s defense that the distance he had traveled — 100 feet — after hitting Autumn and being forced to a halt, was too short a distance to be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of hit and run.
…After delivering his verdict, Judge John C. Tylwalk set a July sentencing date; Moyer faced a sentence of 72 hours to 6 months imprisonment on the DUI charge. Under Pennsylvania law, Moyer may also face a separate hearing, at which the Department of Transportation may seek to suspend his license for a 12-month period. But for killing Autumn Grohowski, Moyer would not do one minute of time.
Having been myself the victim of a hit and run, while on a bicycle, by a drunk driver, I’m pissed beyond words. I’m going into the kitchen to swim laps in a bottle of scotch for the balance of the evening.
To the family of Autumn Grohowski; I wish to extend my deepest condolences, sympathy, and compassion for your loss. Words cannot adequately the devastation I feel after reading velonews article. Justice was not yours. You have been let down.
To my home State of Pennsylvania; you fucked up. Huge.by