Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 23, 2012 – This gruesome case demonstrates that bicycles and large trucks do not mix.
“This is a horrific case. A seven-ton U.S. Postal Service truck crushed a woman on a bicycle and then left the scene of the accident,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “As the facts unfolded, it turned out the man driving the truck had no idea he had hit anyone.”
The victim in this case was a former State Supreme Court special referee, and she was out biking with her husband one day in Manhattan, when she fell under the right rear tire of the postal vehicle. She was hit as she pedaled through a small gap between a moving truck and the parked postal truck. The driver, a 64-year-old man, indicated to police his vehicle bumped and rocked all the time, due to the nature of the streets in the city. He had not been aware of anything unusual that day and finished his run, returning to headquarters later, where he learned there had been an accident.
He did not connect the dots for some time. “However, roughly two hours later, in the middle of another postal run, the trucker began to have a sinking feeling he might has been the man who hit the cyclist. When he asked his supervisor for more details of the accident, he advised him he thought it was his truck that hit her,” Schuelke explained.
This case made it to trial and the prosecution wanted to know why the worker had waited two hours or more to talk to his supervisor. They did not accept his explanation that he did not feel anything out of the ordinary that day, when running over a human on a bike would certainly engender more than just a mere bump. Facing up to seven years in jail, if convicted, the man stuck to his story, and the jury believed him.
Leaving the scene of an accident is more common than people think. Some leave as a result of being under the influence of something. Some leave because they are scared and have no driver’s license or a suspended license, and some leave because they are not aware anything happened. Far too often death comes to cyclists on Americas streets. “It’s brutal for the families of those killed in this manner. Many wish to file wrongful death lawsuits, to ensure something like the loss of their loved one does not happen to anyone else,” Schuelke added.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
1717 W. 6th Street, Suite 375
Austin, Texas 78703-4868
Call (512) 476-4944