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McKeesport bicyclist killed in Carrick crash

This topic contains 56 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 1 yr, 4 mos.

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J Z

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Jun 24 2013 at 9:31am #

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/mckeesport-bicyclist-killed-in-carrick-crash-692943/


erok

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:14am #

crap. I don’t know this area well, but it seems like a neighborhood street.


jonawebb

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:22am #

Man, they closed comments on that story quickly. I just barely got in a response to somebody who was saying bicycles shouldn’t be on the same streets as cars.
Also in Google Maps view of the area: Miracles Happen Sober Recovery House, and Carrick Beer 4 Less.
Also in the Trib, but seems to be an earlier story: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4246106-74/pittsburgh-street-carrick#axzz2X9DszvWX. Says it happened at 6:30 last night.


Mikhail

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:23am #

erok wrote:crap. I don’t know this area well, but it seems like a neighborhood street.

This is one of the busiest shortcut to get from 88 to 51 to Brownsville to Becks Run to East Carson when Maytide-Biscayne is not moving. :( But it’s during weekdays. And it has a traffic light (as well as Maytide) so it’s relatively easy to cross 51 for cars.


Marko82

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:35am #

I know the intersection well. The roads come together at a crazy angles and there are two fairly steep roads coming together. And 90% of people blow the stop signs. I recon one or both did the same in this crash. It’s not a place I would expect a cyclist to be ‘just passing through’ so they likely were visiting someone in the neighborhood. Sad story.

Edit: a state representative lives within eyesight of this intersection.


byogman

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:43am #

jonawebb wrote:Man, they closed comments on that story quickly. I just barely got in a response to somebody who was saying bicycles shouldn’t be on the same streets as cars.

As annoying as a couple of the PG articles and comments were, the anti-cyclist voices were wholly out argued and generally outvoted as well. It was vital to have some public discourse on the matter.

But not now, I’m glad to have the usual back and forth over bikes in the street turned off when there’s a fatality. At some point, but not so soon that it becomes about this crash, I hope the discussion resumes.

In the meantime I just hope the facts of this case are uncovered quickly. I will try very hard not to make assumptions until then.


stefb

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Jun 24 2013 at 11:17am #

We need signs stating that 4 feet is a law no matter the circumstance. We also need law enforcement to crack down on dangerous drivers. Both or either of these things could prevent this.

Are signs about the 4 foot law going to be made and put up anywhere? Any plans for this?

This is terrible.


Marko82

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Jun 24 2013 at 5:37pm #

I just visited the intersection. The car was headed downhill on Almont, and the cyclist was on Overbrook, with the cyclist most likely headed downhill too but not sure. A man who lives a few doors away who was NOT a witness claims that both people ran their stop signs and that would be consistent with the crash markings, but that is just speculation and the whole thing could have happened differently for all we know. Thoughts are with the family.


Pierce

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Jun 24 2013 at 6:00pm #

If that’s the case, it’s worth reiterating that it’s a lot harder to stop going downhill than it is on flat land

Hills have been involved in a decent amount of cyclist fatalities


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 24 2013 at 6:14pm #

Would a roundabout calm and control traffic here?


Marko82

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Jun 24 2013 at 7:26pm #

@stu, I don’t think a roundabout or anything is really needed. It’s city “back streets” that only need people to obey the stop signs. It only gets one or two vehicles per minute or less most of the day.

BTW, the cyclist is from Carrick and lived one block from the crash site.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/06/24/carrick-bicyclist-dies-after-being-hit-by-car/


gg

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Jun 24 2013 at 8:38pm #

Is there anything about the driver who murdered the cyclist? I seem to be missing who hit the guy. Sure seems like an innocent looking road. It is tough out there. I need to move to Vauban. It is really getting old hearing about this stuff. I don’t belong in Pittsburgh. I love to ride, but I don’t want to do it with tons of stress. Fuck that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg


salty

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Jun 24 2013 at 10:02pm #

Very sorry to hear this – the article says he was an avid rider who has been riding for 30 years.

It’s well past time for this to stop, but I don’t see even a token effort to rein in dangerous drivers or even hold them responsible for their actions after the fact. And the death and injury toll just keeps rising.


Nick D

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Jun 25 2013 at 12:36am #

At 8:30p on July 2, please join the community and some of his loving family to honor the man who died senselessly while doing what he, and many of us love, riding his bike.

We will be locking up a white “ghost bike” as a somber memorial as well as a reminder to all road users that these types of events should never occur. If you are able, bring candles and flowers to help make the bike as beautiful as the life it is honoring.

It is important to remember that the issues around deaths like these do not only matter to people riding bikes, but also other more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and motorcyclists–this could have been you.

***There will be information on a group ride to the site from the city in the next few days.***

Location: Overbrook Blvd & Almont St Pittsburgh, PA 15210

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/170459569802364


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 25 2013 at 3:54am #

Again I have to ask: What was the driver doing driving? This is not an at-fault question, but rather one of purpose. For some reason, this person felt a need to get from some Point A to some Point B, and utilized a car to accomplish that purpose. That somehow resulted in traveling through that corner. Had that person utilized a bus or bicycle to accomplish that, we would have one more person still on the planet.


sarah_q

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Jun 25 2013 at 6:18am #

How can you kill someone and have no charges filed???

Some people will never obey a law without consequences. It seems like time and time again cyclists are hit and there are the driver is not charged with anything. You are more likely to get in trouble for having a turn signal light burned out.

This gives an impression of a “so what?” mentality that absolutely sickens me to the core.


edmonds59

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Jun 25 2013 at 6:32am #

Not to detract from the seriousness of the tragedy, but, when every night on the news it is announced that a driver, if not 2 or 3, has been killed in a crash, every day, day after day, it’s going to be difficult to generate any widespread outrage at the occasional death of a bike rider or pedestrian. Our society has developed an unbelievable callousness regarding traffic deaths, as though they are inevitable. A cyclist or pedestrian gets killed once every couple of months? Oh well, just part of the march of the news. And we are not even adding in the thousands of service members who have voluntarily gone to their deaths overseas to keep the petroleum flowing, we ignore that except for the occasional emo shot of sad wives and families. Cyclists should not take this a personal affront, we are just a kind of outsider looking in, and able to see the mass insanity, the ones who can see color in a world where everybody can only see black and white.
As a society we spend billions of dollars looking for silver bullet solutions to illness and disease when we could just live healthier or eat better. Two idiots sneak a homemade bomb into the Boston Marathon and we happily bend over and allow our government to probe into every aspect of our lives in the futile hope that “they” can protect us from the next random idiot.
People are stupid, stupid animals.


erok

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:14am #

How can you kill someone and have no charges filed???

One thing i’ve learned over time is that they rarely file charges so quickly with traffic crashes, especially those that involve serious injury or death. And for good reason. The investigators haven’t had a chance to get out there and figure out what happened in order to file charges that they can actually win.

When a fatality occurs, they may even send the homicide crews out. when my coworker dan was hit, we were all completely maddened that no charges were filed, or an arrest for that matter, but after time, and them building the case, they eventually filed some serious charges on this guy. it’s not ideal, but it is the way it is.


erok

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:16am #

with that said, it’s up to us to keep the pressure on the DA to continue to pursue cases, which is unfortunate.


Marko82

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:22am #

Thanks for the ghost-bike update Nick. Carrick is not a very easy place to get to by bike, but the bus service is very good. The crash site is not that far from the bus line – about five or six blocks – but hilly. Hopefully those not confident to take on 18th street by bike will consider attending by via bus.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:46am #

I am going to bike there, though I haven’t yet figured out the best way to do that. I have a meeting in Dormont just a bit after this, which I’ve biked to in the past.

I’m willing to join up with anyone else leaving downtown. Or suggest a meeting place, if we decide to head out South 18th.


gg

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Jun 25 2013 at 8:03am #

Nick, thanks for the ghost bike information.


Marko82

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Jun 25 2013 at 9:08am #

The PG now says “bicyclist may have hit side of car in fatal Carrick crash” But they are still saying the cyclist is from McKeesport which is wrong according to TV interviews.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-police-say-mckeesport-bicyclist-may-have-hit-side-of-car-in-fatal-carrick-crash-693057/


erok

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Jun 25 2013 at 9:21am #

their description of what happened is so vague.


jonawebb

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Jun 25 2013 at 10:07am #

I remember Nick talking about ghost bikes and how he didn’t put them up for some accidents, where the cyclist wasn’t taking due care. Assuming, I repeat assuming, the accident happened as described, where the cyclist crashed into the car at speed and died from head trauma, it sounds like one of those cases. It is really hard to see how the cyclist could have stopped at the stop sign and then been in this accident; and I suspect, given the nature of his injuries, he wasn’t wearing a helmet either. Blaming the victim — yes — but sometimes people make stupid mistakes, and end up paying for them dearly. Something better infrastructure would solve? Yes. The driver’s fault? Doesn’t sound like it.


Pierce

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Jun 25 2013 at 11:29am #

@jonawebb

Eh, I don’t think car accident memorials go by the same rules, so I can see putting up a ghost bike even if the cyclist made a mistake. That could have been the case for the first one we did too

@edmonds59

Whoa! It’s like I logged into your account and went on a usual rant about the value of life in this society; agreed with points, but I think getting others to empathize with us as humans is key and can be done. Ghost bikes help with that


paulheckbert

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Jun 25 2013 at 11:29am #

I’ve biked through that intersection. It’s very residential. I used Overbrook and Almont as a safer, gentler, lower-traffic alternative to Maytide while climbing from Route 51 (Saw Mill Run Blvd) down in the valley up to the ridgetop at Brownsville Rd.

I went through here as part of a recreational ride I call the Pittsburgh Hilly Loop: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/193966 (my route map shows Maytide near mile 36 but I use Antenor-Overbrook-Almont in practice).


Nick D

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Jun 25 2013 at 2:08pm #

@jonawebb, I never said that.

That statement was made by Rob de la Cretaz in a Post Gazette article a few years back. I do not stand behind that statement.

My feeling is, and always has been, that ghost bikes should be considered on a case-by-case basis based on demand from the community and the wishes of the family of the victim.

I do have more information on the event, but it cannot be shared [for now]. However, I hope my track record provides enough legitimacy to the idea that a ghost bike is appropriate in this case.


jonawebb

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Jun 25 2013 at 2:43pm #

@Nick, OK, I respect your judgment and your kind and thoughtful work.


J Z

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:13pm #

“Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said based on the preliminary investigation, the driver, whom she did not identify, stopped at the intersection and started moving through it when the bike came down the hill and ran into the side of the car.”

Not to split hairs, but shouldn’t that read “allegedly stopped” if the investigation is still in the preliminary stage?


Steven

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Jun 25 2013 at 7:56pm #

No, since it’s reporting what the police said, and therefore conveying the fact that it’s an allegation (the police are alleging it), not something the article itself is stating as fact.


gg

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Jun 26 2013 at 3:15pm #

This is a pretty strange crash. Is that a 4 way stop? So a 30 year veteran comes flying down a hill that he knows well and slams in the side of a car that was pulling out and the cyclist dies as a result? Man, that is a pretty odd one. Lost brakes? Was the cyclists in trouble before the crash in some way? Seems like there is more going on, but maybe not. Regardless, it sure is sad for anyone to lose their life like that.

If anyone hears more, please let us know.


jonawebb

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Jun 26 2013 at 3:27pm #

It’s not that strange. It’s easy to miss things, or to make a false assumption. I’ve done it myself, entered an intersection without realizing that a driver in the opposing lane was signaling to turn left. So I can easily see someone coming down a hill at speed, glancing and either seeing the car and assuming it was going to stop, or being distracted / not paying attention and not seeing the car. (I’m assuming here that the car also didn’t stop.) It could even be that the cyclist missed the stop sign entirely; easy enough to do while running downhill.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 26 2013 at 4:24pm #

If he lived a block away for 30 years, I think it’s a safe assumption that he knew the corner reasonably well.

Somebody knows something and we don’t, and I’m very reluctant to draw any conclusions based on suppositions. But I will also call out any haters who have made their own conclusions based on their non-knowing of relevant facts in this case.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 26 2013 at 10:32pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:

Somebody knows something and we don’t, and I’m very reluctant to draw any conclusions based on suppositions. But I will also call out any haters who have made their own conclusions based on their non-knowing of relevant facts in this case.

indeed. part of it is just not wanting to speculate and be foolishly wrong. the news accounts have been so incredibly vague, and there seems so definitely like there’re things we don’t know, i just don’t want to make any assumptions.

but it’s easy to spot, and right to call out, idiotic assumptions. luckily for us, though, there are far fewer of these, among the comments on news stories for example, than there were even a year ago.


salty

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Jun 27 2013 at 1:09am #

Dead men tell no tales, so if this “conclusion” is based on what the driver told the police I’m certainly not taking it at face value.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 27 2013 at 7:05am #

Forensic evidence would include, for example, the location, position, shape, etc., of where the bicycle contacted the car, and what body parts of the victim encountered trauma, from which experts — not us — can discern direction and speed of travel of both. This is the sort of stuff that takes months to sort out.


Marko82

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Jun 27 2013 at 7:27am #

@stu, at a four way stop – I imagine speed of each vehicle pretty much tells the story. I hope the investigators have enough clues & don’t have to rely on the driver’s statement.


jonawebb

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:12am #

My point on speculating wasn’t to try to figure out what exactly happened. It was to point out how an accident like this could have happened to any of us, even in our own, familiar neighborhoods. What happened to Mr. Pearson, whatever the details, is not hard to understand.
I suppose you’ve heard the statistic about most automobile accidents occur within a small distance of home. It is really easy, especially in familiar surroundings, to make a mistake. And if it happens at a time when a motorist is making a mistake, the results can be tragic.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 27 2013 at 8:52am #

jonawebb wrote:I suppose you’ve heard the statistic about most automobile accidents occur within a small distance of home.

this is just a natural consequence of the home being one’s most frequent destination. there’s nothing inherently dangerous about the neighborhood in which one lives (in general).

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