Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Drunk Drivers!

So while we like to keep a humorous air to the blog it becomes necessary at times to take a more serious tone. A friend just passed this story along to me which is posted on CNN. It reminded me of another incident, previously unmentioned on the blog, in which a friend and co-worker (we'll call him Joe Biker) was involved in a hit-and-run by a motorist right on Route 4 in Unionville. After running a red light and running over Joe, the driver took off. A passing motorist checked on Joe, made sure he was alive, and chased down the driver! After getting his plate number the police found him and discovered he had been drunk!! As far as I know the case is still pending but little more than a slap on the wrist can be expected. Despite actions that potentially could have killed Joe it is doubtful that charges to this effect will be applied. The repercussions of the accident have left Joe unable to walk for the last month thus forcing him to back out of buying a new house and cancel an epic backpacking trip to Alaska. The good news is his doctors hope Joe will be back on the bike by next summer.

The moral of the story friends is not just to be careful as there is only so much you can do, but also to be aware of everything around you and to take initiative when you see motorists acting in a hostile manner towards cyclists. We have rights! Make sure to grab plate numbers, and id cars breaking traffic laws. Acts as simple as speeding or running a red light may not seem as dramatic as Joe's case and not nearly as tragic as the incident in Mexico but they can have huge implications. We aren't hiding behind two ton metal shells, so ride safe, take the lane, and be confident.


chillwill said...

yar mateys! use that cel phone when needed!

i dropped a dime on three meatheads a few weeks ago on Park Road in a crappy red sports car who started harassing me since i took the lane to go around a double parked car. at first i thought they were beeping at the illegally parked car, but when they cut real close to me yelling and giving me the finger i was the object od thier affection!

i reacted back with the same finger gesturing and open arms saying, "What? What's the problem." The three in the car started slamming on thier brakes and taunting me and threatening me with it so i whipped out the cel and as i spoke to the police, i made sure the jerks in the car saw me mouthing thier plate. They very quickly sped off.

I met the cop at the parking lot of the Prospect Cafe. He was very polite and took it all seriously and said they had an ID and address from the plate.

He said he'd go talk to them and give them a warning and if they were assholes he'd find a reason to ticket them.

Braddock said...

Just got home from my downtown commute to WH. I was up on Capital where the same thing happened. Taking the lane...three dudes in a tinted out beater passing within inches and honking while breaking in front of me. Needless to say, I didn't think it was nearly as funny as they did! I had a few choice words for them before they pretended to turn right onto I-84 and cut me off again by going straight. Unfortunately, my cell was packed away but I'll be sure to have it handy next time. Where's the bike love Hartford?

chillwill said...

I just read about that photo from the drunk driver in mexico. the riders were on a 21 mile race. One cyclist was killed, many others injured.

The police got there just as the angry mob was trying to lynch the driver. Too bad the police in Mexico have a faster response time than the police in Hartford.

here's the story:

A car driven by an alleged drunken driver plowed into a bicycle race along a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday, killing one cyclist and injuring 10 others.

Juan Campos was apparently drunk and had fallen asleep at the wheel before crashing into the race in Monterrey, Mexico, police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez said.

A photograph taken by a city official shows the horrifying moment of impact. The force of the collision sent bicyclists and equipment high into the air and Matamoros newspaper El MaƱana described children crying, women shouting for help and men trying to lynch Campos before police arrived to arrest him.

Killed in the crash was Alejandro Alvarez, 37, of Monterrey.

Campos told police he was an American citizen from Brownsville, Texas. The U.S. consulate could not immediately confirm that.

"We are looking into the incident in terms of whether American citizens were involved,'' consulate spokesman Todd Huizinga told the Associated Press.

The crash happened 15 minutes into the race along a highway between Playa Bagdad and Matamoros, authorities said.

A total of 452 cyclists were participating in the 21-mile race, which was canceled after the incident.

Karma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chillwill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karma said...

I hope you didn't type all that out as I have conveniently hyper-linked the story into the post. I guess its kind of hard to see though, apologies.

For our readers I thought it might be a good idea to throw these numbers on here.

Hartford Police non-emergency:

West Hartford Police non-emergency:

I just threw these in my phone for just such an occasion as Chillwill and Braddock have mentioned and I encourage all to do the same.

Rich said...

East of the river:

East Hartford Police non-emergency:
(860) 528-4401
(860) 289-9134 crime tips

Manchester Police non-emergency:
(860) 645-5500