Likes Likes:  7
Dislikes Dislikes:  2
ELITE ELITE:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Hit-and-run from May

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Riverdale Park, MD
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Hit-and-run from May

    Following Thomas Hollowellís death, and with additional discussions around DCís Vision Zero, Iíve reflected on my own experience with a driver hitting me with her car and driving off this summer.

    I feel lucky that neither me, nor my girlfriend, was seriously injured.

    However, Iím concerned:

    -That 4 months after the driver intentionally struck my girlfriend, and then me, with a car and then fled the scene, that the driver is still driving area roads;

    -That DC police do not place a greater priority on locating a driver that recklessly and cavalierly strikes people with her car, and who seems likely to do it again, possibly with more disastrous consequences; and,

    -That the DC police appear to make no distinction procedurally between pursuing hit-and-run drivers that intentionally strike vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, and those that may unintentionally or unknowingly strike another car in traffic.

    I refrained from posting about the hit and run earlier, hoping that DC authorities would act with some signs of expediency. After several unanswered messages from the assigned detective, three months passing before the detective sent me a form letter requesting an immediate response or the police would drop the investigation, and another month having passed after providing my statement with no further contact, my confidence that anything will be done continues to dwindle.

    Hereís what happened:

    On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, my girlfriend and I saw Jack White at the Anthem at the Wharf. After the show, we were biking north on 7th St SW. The stretch of 7th Street SW we were biking has three lanes- - one lane with parked cars, and two travel lanes- in either direction. We were cycling in the rightmost travel lane, next to the lane of parked cars. We were riding single-file. I was in front, my girlfriend was riding behind me.

    Somewhere between I St and G St SW, a car behind my girlfriend began aggressively honking. There were some other cars around, but the driver had ample opportunity to pass us. Instead, the driver decided not to, riding inches away from my girlfriend and threateningly blaring the horn.

    There was a red light at 7th & G ST SW. We slowed to a stop, as the driver behind us continued to honk.

    I came to a stop at the red light, standing over my bike. I heard my girlfriend yell that the driver was too close. Immediately after hearing my girlfriend yell, I heard the crunching sound of the driver hitting my girlfriend with the car. I turned and saw my girlfriend near the passenger's side of the driver's car, between the travel lane and parked cars. It appeared and sounded like the driver struck my girlfriend a second time as my girlfriend disappeared from my sight. At this point I was standing, with my bike in front of me and perpendicular to the car. I shouted to some of the dozen or so other concert goers walking on the sidewalk to call 911. One of the witnesses was standing near the curb with his cell phone out, appearing to record the driver assaulting my girlfriend.

    The driver, looking right at me the entire time, then drove the 10 or so feet forward and rammed into my bike, pushing the bike into my legs. After being struck and fearing for my life, I moved to the driver's side of the car. As I jumped out of the way, the driver accelerated rapidly, driving through the red light, turning right on G St SW, nearly striking the witness photographing the assault, and nearly striking several pedestrians with the right of way in the the crosswalk on G St SW.

    The witness photographing the assaults called the police. Three of the dozen or so witnesses waited for the police to arrive. Two of the witnesses provided written statements to the responding officer.

    While waiting for the police to arrive, one of the witnesses described the attack as the most ridiculous display of road rage she had ever seen.

    Apparently, the driver yelled at my girlfriend that if she didn't get out of the driver's way, the driver was going to hit my girlfriend with the car. After the threat, the driver then hit my girlfriend with the car. At least one of the witnesses said she also heard the driver threaten to assault my girlfriend before striking her with the car. The responding officer noted that while often difficult to prove in traffic collisions, the driverís statements clearly demonstrated intent.

    Aside from minor aches and pains, and the emotional distress of being intentionally hit with a car, we both came out relatively okay. The force of the car striking my bike was enough to bend the chainring, which required replacement. But, otherwise there wasnít too much damage to report. I suspect the lack of serious injury or damage contributes to the lack of interest from DC to pursue the matter more expediently.

    One of the witnesses that provided a written statement showed the officer pictures of the driver and the car. The witness said he would email the photos to the police. Those photos clearly showed the driver, talking on her cell phone, and the car and its license plate.

    Based on the response and reaction of the responding police officer, I had hoped for more.

  2. Dislikes josh, consularrider disliked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Falls Church
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sorry to hear about this. Did the witness provide you with a copy of the driver/vehicle/lp photos and/or if he/she actually provided these to the MPD?

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Riverdale Park, MD
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The witness did not provide me with copies of the photos. The witness who took the photos was an attorney from Richmond, who seemed pretty earnest about helping out. He asked the responding officer for contact info to forward the photos. I thought he sent them to someone before he left the scene, but it's possible he didn't. It's also possible he changed his mind or something happened to the photos in the last 3 months.

    I received a form letter from the detective on August 16 (dated August 6, postmarked August 14) requesting a response within 20 days of "issuance" of the letter, or the investigation would be suspended. The letter asked for information about witnesses. I pulled the witnesses' contact information from the police report, which I requested and received on June 12th, which I had also referenced in my emails to the detective on June 22nd and August 1st. Based on the letter, it was my assumption the witness had not been contacted as of mid-August.
    Last edited by dbehrend; 09-30-2018 at 10:03 PM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Riverdale Park, MD
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dbehrend View Post
    . . . which I had also referenced in my emails to the detective on June 22nd and August 1st.
    In response to the form letter, I also provided the witnesses' contact information in my statement on August 19th.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dominion Hills in Arlington VA
    Posts
    4,265
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You should call Bruce Deming and see if he has any advice.

  7. Likes dasgeh liked this post
  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,126
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I really, really wish this kind of shit still came as a shock

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    College Park
    Posts
    244
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder would be the charges I'd attempt to pursue. That's not a traffic offense, that's criminal.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That's perhaps for guns and the like, for cars, there is attempted vehicular homicide.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm so sorry. Definitely speak to a lawyer. Contact WABA (or PM me) for a list of attorneys who specialize in bike crashes. I agree this goes way beyond what's typical.

  12. Likes Steve O liked this post
  13. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Riverdale Park, MD
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thank you for the recommendations to reach out to a lawyer. We did report the incident to the WABA crash tracker. I'll reach out to WABA to get a list of attorneys.

    It's truly discouraging that a cyclist needs to contact an attorney to advocate for the police to pursue a hit and run driver. I'm most concerned that there's a driver out there thinking it's okay to ram cyclists with her car when she's frustrated with them, and that one day someone's not going to be able to jump out of the way. I'm far less concerned about recovering the cost of a chainring.

    I went to my local bike store to have my bike checked out the day after the assault. The owner said that it sounded pretty horrible, but that unfortunately, he heard too many similar stories, and he sincerely doubted the police would pursue it.

    I'll continue to follow up. I'll let you all know if I hear more.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •