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Dangerous drivers thread

This topic contains 362 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  alanowski 5 days, 1 hr.

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Mick

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Aug 27 2013 at 10:42am #

salty wrote:I saw his window was down and all I could think to say was “are you f’n stupid?”… followed by “get off the road until you learn to drive”. I didn’t hear whatever he was saying back but I’m sure it was stupid.

Yes!

I think it’s important to tell these people “You shouldn’t be on the road.”

I think it’s more effective than profanity and that most of them on some level know it’s true.

I would not be surprised if this guy had a suspended license, had enough points to be on that edge, or perhaps was even on probation of some sort.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 27 2013 at 11:26am #

It would have been fantastic to have that on video, even without the verbal interchange.


salty

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Aug 27 2013 at 11:58am #

I have a camera although I have very mixed feelings about using it for this purpose so I haven’t used it in probably a year… Although I did charge the battery after that jackass left-crossed me a few weeks ago.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 27 2013 at 2:40pm #

I wouldn’t have any qualms at all about posting video of someone acting badly in a public space, especially when potentially harming innocent people. Good thing the guy’s brakes worked, or there would have been a really bad scene.

Had I been there with video rolling, I might have gone to the police with the video even without a wreck, just to point out how amazingly stupid a stunt the guy pulled.

It’s not a whole lot different from pulling out a weapon and firing horizontally just over people’s heads.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 27 2013 at 2:48pm #

And in related news…

Pittsburgh named one of the worst places to drive in country

http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/pittsburgh-named-one-worst-places-drive-country/nZdch/


kitaira

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Aug 29 2013 at 7:31am #

I believe this guys plate was GMX2485 but I may have the second letter wrong. I took the road coming inbound through friendship park, as usual. He buzzed around me on my right (in the bike lane) then swerves towards me (within 6 inches) to yell through his window. I then played legal asshole, filtered by him stopped behind a garbage truck, and he ended up behind me at the next light. He didn’t lik…e this picture at all, rolled his window down, passed me at the light and said I needed to take the bike lane because I was holding up traffic.

1. The bike lane there isn’t safe. Because of parking, side street traffic can’t see you and pulls right out into the bike lane. You also have dooring possibilities but the former is why I don’t take it. Plus it just ends.

2. I can go a fair speed here (20+) and rarely have confrontation. Anyone who thinks you should be in a bike lane because you’re holding up traffic really thinks you shouldn’t be on the road.

Watch out for this guy. He seriously could have been safer had he passed me within the 1 or 2 feet on my right, but chose to swerve into me to yell at me.

Adding to this: he got in the turning lane to cross Bloomfield bridge, the lady in the front had a green arrow but traffic was backed up and there was an ambulance coming with sirens going. I could hear the, I think, familiar horn going behind her. People who drive this way are overall aggressive drivers. They endanger me on a bike, sure, but absolutely endanger you in your car, in a crosswalk, on a motorcycle.


jonawebb

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Aug 29 2013 at 8:27am #

Yeah, that’s the main point here. The same people who are buzzing bikes are almost clipping pedestrians, speeding, taking chances around other cars, etc. It’s not really an issue only for us; we’re just more aware of it because we’re more vulnerable and we see what’s going on on the road more readily.


HiddenVariable

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Aug 29 2013 at 8:59am #

kitaira wrote:2. I can go a fair speed here (20+) and rarely have confrontation. Anyone who thinks you should be in a bike lane because you’re holding up traffic really thinks you shouldn’t be on the road.

i got honked at yesterday by a bus while avoiding a dangerous bike lane. i was coming inbound on liberty, just after the intersection at the bloomfield bridge and main street. it’s a slight downhill and i was probably going along at 20-25 mph. there’s a bike lane there, which an open door would completely block, so i take the lane. this bus driver was so eager to move up about fifteen feet, presumably so he could tailgate the car that was directly in front of me, that he couldn’t keep his hand off the horn.

i do appreciate the effort in giving us bike lanes, but i’d rather not have that lane from the bridge down to herron. the only place it’s safe to ride is where no cars are parked, and at that point it’s unnecessary. the only thing it accomplishes is angering drivers who think we should be relegated there, even if it’s unsafe.


buffalo buffalo

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:09am #

The speed limit on the hill part of Liberty is 35, which is just absurd.

I frankly wish that rather than ‘refreshing’ the bike lanes on Friendship Avenue, they’d been removed. The lanes along the park are too small, and put cyclists either in the door zone (inbound) or in the frequently debris-filled gutter (outbound); since the roadway isn’t big enough for cars, let alone larger vehicles to pass safely, the only safe option is for cyclists to ride down the middle, where the sharrows should be.

The bike lane on outbound Friendship between Cedarville and the park seems to be in use as a parking lane for the funeral home on that block about every third day. If they need it that badly, maybe we should just let them have it and eliminate this section as well. At the very least, sharrows should be added in the main lane beside every ‘bike lane’ marker—far too many still think that just because a bike lane exists, a cyclist is required to ride in it. (VC §3505(f), captioned “Mandatory use of available pedalcycle path”, was deleted by Act 151 of 1998…)


kitaira

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Aug 29 2013 at 10:25am #

buffalo buffalo wrote:—far too many still think that just because a bike lane exists, a cyclist is required to ride in it. (VC §3505(f), captioned “Mandatory use of available pedalcycle path”, was deleted by Act 151 of 1998…)

I was reading through the post about getting a ticket for taking the lane and was wondering if if a bike lane would count, therefore making it the law to use the “right-most” lane. You’ve answered that, Jonathan – thank you. (Same wave length, as usual)


Drewbacca

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Aug 29 2013 at 11:26am #

kitaira wrote:
I was reading through the post about getting a ticket for taking the lane and was wondering if if a bike lane would count, therefore making it the law to use the “right-most” lane. You’ve answered that, Jonathan – thank you. (Same wave length, as usual)

Jonathan is all over that issue… did you see his engagement on Stu’s FB wall yesterday? I’m starting to think it’s a good idea to memorize these laws word-for-word.


paulheckbert

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Aug 29 2013 at 11:57am #

Has the average Pittsburgh driver ever heard of the word “sharrow”?

If they saw one on a road, would they know what it means?


Mick

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Aug 29 2013 at 12:10pm #

@ paulheckbert
Has the average Pittsburgh driver ever heard of the word “sharrow”?
If they saw one on a road, would they know what it means?

Then answers would be “no” and “no.”

OTOH, they are a clear sign that bikes somehow belong on the roads there

I wish they would put them in of Fifth in uptown – too many drivers on that stretch tell me I shouldn’t be on the road and I’d like to be able to point at a sharrow when they do.


Marko82

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Aug 31 2013 at 1:29pm #

Today’s morning shopping trip:

• Taking the lane by Costco at the waterfront. I came to a full stop while signaling my intentions to turn left. A pickup approaches from my left and starts to slow; as I enter the intersection he just keeps on going without stopping yelling for me to get off the road. If I hadnt of been paying attention he would have nailed me. (white male mid 40’s)

• Sitting second in line at a stop light at 26th and Carson waiting to turn right. Light turns green and the car in front of me turns left. As I start to make my turn a small SUV from opposite me on 26th makes a left turn right into me. As I yell “hey!” as loud as I can she hits the brakes and puts her hand to her mouth in the classic “I didn’t see you” expression. I was wearing one of my neon green jerseys with my front blinky running. (white female mid 30’s with kids in back seat)

• A few blocks up Carson near the Stop-n-go a piece of shit dark four door Chrysler with Jersey plates weaved off line so much that not only did he almost hit me in the bike lane, he almost hit a parked car. I yelled for him to put the phone away when he brake checked me and threatened to ‘get out and settle it’. As there were lots of people standing around he just took off. (black male early 30’s)

• Going outbound on Carson towards Becks run. I usually ride in the right tire track here unless there are cars coming toward me in the opposite direction, then I signal and move over to take the full lane. When there is no more oncoming traffic I move to the right and wave the cars behind me to pass. I did that today and the guy immediately behind me was courteous and giving me some space. The dickweed behind him was laying on the horn. As I got to Paige’s Dairy I pulled into their lot, and the guy with the horn pulled in behind me. A very threatening situation ensued. Gold Toyota Camry HPK-3716. Police report filed. (two black men mid 20’s to mid 30’s) Edit: The officer was very professional & understanding while taking the report

• Going up Beck’s run toward home. Two lanes southbound, I’m taking full lane with no other traffic in sight. Cream Toyota corolla passes me within two feet; although I must say she was probably the only car I saw going below the speed limit today. (white woman in 70’s or 80’s with two other silver hairs in the car with her)

All this in under 30 miles & Hey it’s only 2 o’clock!

I’m posting this because we always talk about profiling SUV drivers and such, but the only common thread is that each of these drivers was capable of causing me harm today. Different car types, ethnicities, ages, and temperaments. Be safe out there!


joanne

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Aug 31 2013 at 3:31pm #

WTF, Marko?!?! Are you okay??

I had a dangerous driver incident Thursday–white woman, 30s, white Chevy Aspen, license plate HGD-8808. I was in my car, so if this doesn’t belong here, let me know and I’ll edit the post–but I thought it was worth documenting this menace.

She was behind me on Allegheny River Blvd, on the phone and eating, swerving all over the road, tailgating, running up on me and nearly hitting me multiple times. When I slowed down and motioned to her to back off the bumper of my little car with her big car, she positioned herself about a foot off my bumper, starting flashing her lights and laying on the horn. We drove that way all the way down ARB toward Washington Blvd, me going about 20 mph and her looming behind me, raging and trying to menace me with her vehicle. She finally passed me, very closely, and I ended up behind her at the light taking lots of pictures of her plate.


cburch

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Aug 31 2013 at 9:28pm #

totally should have called 911 and reported n erratic and possibly drunk driver. zone 5 could have set up a welcome party.


Marko82

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Aug 31 2013 at 11:16pm #

@ joanne, just another day in paradise….

Thankfully Page’s has cameras and had a few witnesses to discourage gun play.


ShooFlyPie

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Sep 1 2013 at 8:44pm #

This is my first post on this forum. I am happy to see a place where one can vent frustrations with fellow urban bikers. My friends and family who don’t cycle just don’t understand. But anyways, I was a large cyclist through college in State College and then lived in Denver for a few years and cycled that city’s extensive trail and bike lane system. I came back to Pittsburgh went on a few year hiatus from cycling till recently I became re-born with a vengeance.

There are so many dangerous drivers, but some are more scary. There are ignorant dumbasses who drive in bike lanes, don’t give 4 feet, etc, and then there are the dangerous short fused drivers who who want to deliberately attempt to cause an accident with cyclist. I noticed that Pittsburgh drivers are angry, hostile, and aggressive. I have so many stories of angry drivers from this summer that it isn’t even funny. But I will rant about my one today.

I was biking down Carson Street and got in the left turning lane to make a left onto the Birmingham street bridge bike lane. The light turned to a green arrow and I was behind two cars. I kept up at the same exact speed and was making a left in the lane in clear view of every car. A mid to late 20 something male driving a green SUV explorer was driving Carson St from the southside works making a right onto the Birmingham street bridge as my lane had the green arrow. He clearly had a yield sign, and had to wait for cars and bikes to come. (this would take 20 seconds). I was biking right behind a car and tried to get over to the lane, yet he just keeps going and nearly swipes me by less than a foot. Then he speeds around me barely missing me. As I yelled, he pulled down his window down and said, “you got a problem!?”. Yeah, meathead, you almost took my life by driving illegally and then wind down your window to ask me that? He then slowed down on the bridge waiting for me. Cars behind him forced him to keep going. I did absolutely nothing illegal. It is one thing to dodge a driver who is ignorantly stupid, yet another to be pushed around by a tough guy in a suv pushing his gas pedal down, and yet this is just another typical day of biking the Burgh.


Marko82

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Sep 1 2013 at 10:36pm #

@SFP, welcome to the message board!

Just try to remember that there are many very nice drivers out there too. People that will wait to give you twelve feet of clearance, not just four.

I know I just put a whole list together myself above, but the truth is that most of these assholes are being dicks to other car drivers too. It’s more personal for us since our margin of safety is so small compared to a two ton piece of steel, but that guy would have cut you off if you were driving a car too. And, he probably went home and kicked his cat.


StuInMcCandless

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Sep 2 2013 at 9:59am #

@ShooFlyPie – Welcome to the board. You’ll find that there are quite a few of us who have similar stories. But we also have …

the Good News Thread

…in which you can share stories of cool & fun & uplifting interactions with fellow travelers, motorized and non-.


paulheckbert

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Sep 8 2013 at 1:52pm #

While biking in Cincinnati I came upon this sad sight:

on this road:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lunken+Airport,+Cincinnati,+OH&hl=en&ll=39.111621,-84.419452&spn=0.001261,0.00192&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=5.015043,7.866211&oq=lunken&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=39.111708,-84.41939&panoid=rUK5bhChmO5hxGjc1OQvag&cbp=12,213.72,,0,1.76

east of downtown. A little googling turned up the story of Andrew Gast, a cyclist out for a pre-dawn bike ride to work, rear-ended by a car doing 50mph in a 40mph zone, and killed.

Some reporting on the incident:

http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/bike-law-101/2012/09/andrew-gast-ohios-11th-cycling-death-of-2012-hits-close-to-home/

And how the sentencing turned out:
“[The driver,] White pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide… Judge William Mallory ordered Melvin White, 50, to serve two years of house arrest and suspended his driver’s license for three years. Mallory also ordered White to pay $1,000 to a bicycle safety program called Queen City Blinkies and serve 100 hours of community service”. http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/melvin-white-charged-with-hitting-killing-bicyclist-to-appear-in-court-for-sentencing


Ahlir

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Sep 8 2013 at 4:24pm #

Two years of house arrest? Wow, could be a real hardship…
But I guess at least your friends (assuming you have any) can always come by and party with you. And you can always order in some pizza and most any other delectable; I bet Cincinnati has GrubHub! And of course he has the internets to keep him busy; what more do you need these days? The gift of otaku, it keeps on giving.

That bicycle guy? Well, he’s dead, so who cares.
Sorry, it’s all a bit frustrating.

As a rule: always try to get the license number and call 911.


Mick

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Sep 9 2013 at 12:46pm #

I dunno.

I find the sentencing to be heartwarming compared with what happens with similar crashes in PA. (see, for example, Don Parker.) Here, unless you are actually drunk, you can kill a bicyclist and nothing will happen to you.


RustyRed

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Sep 14 2013 at 12:51pm #

Can I crowbar some future Darwin Award winner pedestrians in this thread? (recorded last night near Heinz Field/Carnegie Science Center)


helen s

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Sep 14 2013 at 2:17pm #

Well, they might be both but they do have a legal right to cross in the cross walk with the expectation that traffic is supposed to stop for them.
That might be a bit dangerous at night though.


RustyRed

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Sep 14 2013 at 2:22pm #

helen s wrote:Well, they might be both but they do have a legal right to cross in the cross walk with the expectation that traffic is supposed to stop for them.

When the *Don’t Walk* sign is lit up?


helen s

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Sep 14 2013 at 2:26pm #

My bad- I thought this was at a crosswalk, not at the light. And as I said, probably both.


salty

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Sep 14 2013 at 4:17pm #

eh, cut the pedestrians some slack – there’s one group that has it worse than cyclists. we should be working together for safer streets, not antagonizing each other.


mjacobPGH

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Sep 14 2013 at 4:33pm #

The crossing signals at the Science Center are frankly awful.


Drewbacca

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Sep 14 2013 at 5:28pm #

If they started walking after *don’t walk* then it’s a toss up… if they crossed while you had a green, then totally f-d up. The first pair seem to be walking recklessly and are in the wrong. “urban matador”


czarofpittsburgh

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Sep 21 2013 at 10:09am #

Here’s a driver doing something unbelievably dangerous to himself and others yesterday morning. Couldn’t wait 4 seconds for me to get over the bridge and get to the bike lane?


HiddenVariable

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Sep 21 2013 at 10:46am #

that is pretty unbelievable, except that i had someone do something similar to me coming down a sharp curve on 18th a month or so ago. the pavement was garbage, and i was doing the speed limit, and she damn near forced me off the road, going into the oncoming lane around a blind curve. so yeah, it should be unbelievable, but i believe it. people have no concept of how dangerous driving is.


RustyRed

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Sep 21 2013 at 11:12am #

czarofpittsburgh wrote:Here’s a driver doing something unbelievably dangerous to himself and others yesterday morning. Couldn’t wait 4 seconds for me to get over the bridge and get to the bike lane?

Dang. Scary.

I’d like to post video of the confusing intersection at 7th and Liberty but or some reason, I can’t get Contour to upload anything.

Anyhoo, I think this is one of those intersections that only Pittsburghers know how it works, as I had an altercation with a giant SUV with Colorado plates after I left the BikePGH! (Park)ing Spot yesterday.

I dawned me afterwards that this intersection has no painted arrows or signs to indicate that drivers in either lane should proceed straight, left or right. I’m so used to drivers just *knowing* that the right lane is for those who are going straight or turning right and the left lane is for left-turners and it might be confusing for out-of-towners, yes?

Here’s screenshots of Mister Giant Colorado SUV’s “I’m going to cut in front of you.” altercation:

I pull up in the right hand lane with a red light:

Mister Giant SUV pulls up next to me and turns his wheels like he’s planning to cut in front on me:

Then, I pull up further, make eye contact with him so he knows I’m there:

When the light turns green, I proceed down 7th ave and he lays on the horn at me in the intersection and tries to cut me off.

When we get down to Ft Duquesne Blvd, I stop on the side, next to where he’s pulled up and give him the stink eye and gesture with some “What’s your beef?!” arms. (ironically enough, right next to a “Friend, Carpenter, Cut Her a Break” bus shelter poster)

The car *behind* Mister Giant SUV is beeping and the driver is screaming at Mister Giant SUV that he should yielded to me and that I had the right of way. Naturally, Mister can’t hear what she’s screaming from inside his Tank. She pulled up next to me and gave me words of encouragement.

I don’t know how you deal with shit on a regular basis. I don’t think I have the intestinal fortitude.

Should I have done anything differently?


mjacobPGH

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Sep 21 2013 at 11:33am #

That driver passing right when you’re about to be in the bike lane is absurd not to mention you appear to be going pretty fast(probably close to 25MPH). In terms of doing anything differently, I’m not sure that there is much you can do. You could always try the most polite route and say “I had the right of way back there” and see what their response is and take it from there. I am helmet camera-less, so I try to limit my interactions with drivers as much as possible because there are some insane people out there.


czarofpittsburgh

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Sep 21 2013 at 11:34am #

Honestly, I think you were totally in the right. As for doing things differently, any time I’m stopped at a red light, I try to stop in the dead center of the lane in order to avoid being right hooked right off the green. Plus, if someone’s showing the signs of doing something that gives me the choice of being ‘right’ but unsafe or ‘wrong’ but safe, I choose the latter. I’d have just let the guy do his thing and go on with my life, albeit shaking my head in disgust.

For example, I said I alway stop in the dead center? Here’s a motorcyclist who comes up to pass me on the right! I could either let him do it and go after him or try to cut him off by moving forward. I just let him do it (with bonus red light running by another cyclist even farther on the right!).


Drewbacca

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Sep 21 2013 at 1:34pm #

@czar, lame… we need a dangerous drivers segment on KDKA or something to show how stupid some people are.

@rusty, it takes strength of character to stand up repeatedly to these jerks… if they didn’t already have a self-righteous attitude to begin with, the interaction would have never occurred. Once in a blue moon, a driver will admit to a mistake and apologize. Perhaps kind words and facts one day (even if the message doesn’t seem to sink in) will change a future outcome… hang in there.


joanne

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Sep 21 2013 at 1:50pm #

Ugh, the bad attitude by dangerous drivers after they do something reckless and wrong bothers me more than the reckless and wrong action itself! I’m sorry you had to deal with that.


RustyRed

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Sep 21 2013 at 3:01pm #

czarofpittsburgh wrote: Plus, if someone’s showing the signs of doing something that gives me the choice of being ‘right’ but unsafe or ‘wrong’ but safe, I choose the latter. I’d have just let the guy do his thing and go on with my life, albeit shaking my head in disgust.

This is valuable advice… I should have just hung back and watched him be a jagoff.
I learned a lesson: that just because I make eye-contact with a driver, does not mean they’re going to magically become courteous.

My Jedi powers of persuasion must have worn off.


gwenvj33

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Sep 24 2013 at 1:35pm #

Dangerous Driver:
Dark Blue Seabring Convertible – PA LP# DDG 9809. Ran me off the road as I was traveling east on Friendship Ave by West Penn Hospital. Then proceeded to yell at me like I wasn’t supposed to be riding my bike on the road.


mjacobPGH

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Sep 26 2013 at 5:36pm #

My friend at work was hit somewhere around McClure(he didn’t say where in our conversation). A driver passed him too close while eating a breakfast sandwich and clipped him. She stopped, and got out with the sandwich still in hand to ask if he was OK. He was and he smacked the sandwich out of her hands.

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