Urban Velo

Tragedy in Texas

Kylie Bruehler

Reposted from Tucson Bike Lawyer:

Folks, that is a photograph of seven year old Kylie Bruehler. She is at a funeral service to bury her parents, both of whom were killed last week when a driver veered onto the shoulder and drove his pickup truck into them.

They were riding together on a tandem.

The local news reports that “investigators say there are no charges on the driver. They believe this was an accident and that somehow the driver lost control of his truck.”

Texas’s governor recently vetoed a law that would mandate a safe passing distance for cyclists, saying it was unnecessary.

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77 Comments

  1. RaiynOctober 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    @ Trevor / Kevin, remember where you are, anti-transportational cycling comments will be met with derision at the very least. Your suggestions though perhaps well meant will fall on deaf ears because it’s OUR ROAD TOO!

    @Ben. Nice attempt at a strawman, but ” For eight years, bicycling advocates worked to get such legislation passed, changing the proposal as necessary to gain widespread support. So sure were they of the bill’s success in this legislative session – it passed unanimously in the House and 25-6 in the Senate – they asked the governor’s office for a public signing ceremony in hopes of raising awareness of the new law.

    But the signing ceremony and the law were never to be. In vetoing the bill, Perry cited penalties that he said already exist when a motorist is at fault for causing a collision, “whether it is against a ‘vulnerable user’ or not.” ”

    So it would appear, that Gov. Perry is a douchebag. If the penalties are already on the books the only issue is giving cyclists adequate room when passing.

  2. knitrider at 10/10/09 08:47:19 | Toyota PriusOctober 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    [...] this is so horrible for that girl and the cycling community: http://urbanvelo.org/tragedy-in-texas/ Posted on Sat 10 Oct 20:47 retweet 0 votes RT @knitrider: this is so horrible for that girl [...]

  3. TomOctober 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

    If the victim hit had been a highway patrol officer writing a ticket, would the driver had been let go no questions asked? What if it had been the DA’s kids waiting beside the road for their school bus? He’s still not going to care? ‘Still investigating’ is just a code word for ‘I’m just going to let things blow over and then drop the case’.

    Clearly the DA is anti-cyclist and trying to send a message. But he is mistaken. Cars swerving out of control off the road are not just a bike issue. Its a publish safety issue for everyone, including pedestrians, parked cars, road workers, and the police. Even if you only ever use your car for transportation, you still have to walk across the parking lot.

    Finally, when there are multiple deaths under suspicious circumstances, I think the situation warrants more review than just “oh something happened and they lost control”. There should be a proper review in the court system, which is made for this. If the judge thinks the case is not worth proceeding, fine, then he can through it out. If the jury finds no wrong doing, then find them not quality. At least when people die at the hands of someone else, there should be proper review using the system made for this. It should not be used by the DA as a political statement.

  4. jacmanOctober 11, 2009 at 8:31 am

    The Govn’r should be ashamed of himself.

  5. KrisOctober 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Time for a change in policies and Governor-time to do the right thing

  6. I don't understand...October 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

    [...] don’t understand… …how the driver can not be charged! What a sad picture and story. Tragedy in Texas at Urban Velo Similarly, we had a 10 yr old girl hit and killed IN A CROSSWALK here last weekend and the driver [...]

  7. barbaraOctober 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

    As a cyclist in Texas for about 7 years. I feel it is nessessary to hold people accountable for their actions. When on the road ride like a vehicle and be treated as one by people driving cars ond trucks. This is the problem…People try to speed by with an on comming car approaching just so they can make it to a stop sign a few seconds earlier. Slow down, relax. stop the aggression
    My heart to you little girl.. I have two young. Be aware.
    I have little ones of my own.
    Lets change this!! We have got to make the streets safe for everyone..

  8. Proud To Be An AmericanOctober 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    This is the United States of America, where most people drive CARS and TRUCKS. Like it or not, that’s our way of life. If you want to live where most people ride bicycles, then MOVE THERE! There’s a place for everyone in this world.

  9. BrendilonOctober 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    @Proud To Be An A-hole… So anyone who does something different isn’t welcome in your vision of America, is that the case? I guess we all have to be dumb white redneck a-holes like you then huh? Texas should do the rest of the nation a favor and secede… we can give them Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama too.

  10. RaiynOctober 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I was wondering when somebody was going to pull out the “American way of Life / Patriotism” card.
    *rant starts here

    So “Proud”, somehow, in your mind, it’s patriotic to continue sending billions of dollars to buy oil from countries that hate us just so that you can continue to drive around with impunity?

    Somehow, “Proud” it’s wrong, in your twisted view, that we should be outraged that this SEVEN YEAR OLD little girl is an orphan because some clown “lost control” of his 5281 lb (curb weight) King Ranch edition Ford F-150 (read: top of the line option package) because he was “distracted”?

    Just for the record: Hwy 16 (known locally as Bandera Rd) is a four lane rural highway with a large shoulder. According to news reports: The victims (both experienced cyclists) were operating their tandem on this shoulder when they were struck by the vehicle which had somehow left the road.

    Somehow you can justify outrage at people doing something healthy and good for this rock we have to live on because it’s “not our way of life”? Let me stop you there. It’s not YOUR way of life, that doesn’t entitle you to speak for everyone. Nor does it give you or anyone else the right to demand that those who disagree with you to leave the country.

    In my view, one of the most patriotic things you can do is ride a bike for errands or pleasure rather than needlessly waste gas. I’m proud of my country, but I’m ashamed that entitled asshats like “Proud” choose to wrap themselves up in my flag to justify wasteful, murderous behavior.

    * end rant

  11. SeanOctober 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Well spoken.

  12. TinoOctober 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Proud to be a dumb ass.
    Wow!
    can this guy be any more of a moron?
    I hope no one in your family or loved one rides a bike you 300 lbs intolerant, stupid red neck.
    Because I bet that’s your weight since you probably visit your next door neighbor riding your car.
    Walking would probably give you a heart attack.
    Obviously people like you, with no apparent education or soul think that bringing the “patriotism” card is what the rest of us think is right.
    Drivers need to be held accountable for their stupidity.
    What gives you the right to dispense stupid advice on where one should live or move to?
    Last time I check this was a free country and the right to ride a bike as well as to be an intolerant ass hole is still permitted.
    Go back to the stone age where you came from and pray to the lord that no one you love rides a bike and is killed by a dumb driver.

  13. cyclists from OhioOctober 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

    As a fellow cyclists, I am greatly saddened by this. We in Ohio just recently lost a dear friend, due to an “alledgedly” intoxicated driver striking or should I say running down a fellow cycling friend. This was at 6:15 a.m. He has been charged with 4 felony counts, one of which is aggravated vehicular homocide. We also know, that knowing the guy who hit our friend, who has no criminal background, he most likely will get off on most charges. We are trying to turn this around in our part of the State in Ohio, by being proactive. However, we also know that there will always be ignorant and stupid drivers out there. All of us, across this great country of ours need to keep speaking up and getting our voices heard. I don’t think any of us,can change the course of the stupid and ignorant fools in this country.

  14. DaveOctober 12, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I can’t say that I have always been a perfect driver. In my 20′s I drove after having too much to drink. And in more recent years there have been times when I was tired or distracted, But I have been fortunate that this never resulted in a serious accident or injury. If it had then I would expect to pay the consequences in terms of both civil damages and criminal charges (in the current case – reckless driving at least – worse if I was texting or eating a donut).

    Actually since I have been cycling I have become a better driver. I have learned to pay attention to my surroundings. I think the pick up driver (in addition to other penalies) should be required to ride a bike around town for a year as part of his driver re-education.

  15. blairOctober 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    @t-bone … we’re all cyclists and this is a tragedy that doesn’t benefit us to get at each other’s throats over. so despite the fact that i live in the only US state with an economy larger than texas’, and thus have no worries about my asses employment, i respectfully withdraw my emotionally charged plea for your state to secede. i was heated just like everyone else here and reacted by generalizing all texans, which wasn’t right. that’s my bad.

    instead, let me just echo the thoughts of everyone else here and support the idea that the fight to be respected as vehicles sharing the road with cars must continue until these types of horrible events stop.

    good?

  16. KLIMAOctober 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Not too many things can choke me up, especially in regards to photographs……this is an exception.

  17. KenOctober 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “Proud To Be An American” just repeats, in different verbiage, the same old conservative mantra that defines their version of freedom. Namely, “Everyone should have the right to live their life exactly how I think they should live it.” I’m so sick of hearing it. Bikes are here to stay. Not all Americans want to be the fat, lazy future heart attack victims “Proud” aspires to be. This country is slowly evolving into a healthier, more European way of life. “Proud,” you can love THAT or leave it.

  18. RaiynOctober 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    :D @ Ken

  19. ElvisOctober 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    to the person who wrote:”.bikes do not belong in the road, … you cant have a person or persons who weigh 200lbs at most on a bike with two ton and heavier vehicles going 40+ by them.”

    Actually you can, if people are careful and know what they are doing. If knowing what you are doing is too much trouble for you you shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

    Most experienced cyclists can hold a straight line while being passed by cars. A lot of drivers do not appear to know how to safely interact with cyclists. If they do not they should go back to drivers ed, passing another road user should not be difficult.

    As an avid cyclist I have experience riding everything from main roads, to winding downhills, to busy downtowns. I have never caused an accident. I have however been caused to crash by cars as well as been attacked by malicious drivers. I’ve lost count of close calls. You put in a few thousand miles a year they just happen. That itself is an indictment of the tremendous carelessness and ignorance of many drivers. This past Sunday I was going over 40 mph down a winding hill and a guy in an SUV felt compelled to pass me with less than six inches to spare, around a curve. Why? He just didn’t want to wait behind a bike. I could have beeen doing 80 he would still have tried to pass. These people DO need to be hauled off to jail. Yes civil law suits have a purpose too but I disagree that no useful purpose is served by jail time. Jail time would make it clear that recklessly killing or endangering people is not to be tolerated.

    If you wouldn’t tolerate a person firing a shotgun into a croweded evelator with his eyes closed you shouldn’t tolerate people driving as some of these people driving. While accidents do happen, we are talking here about a motor vehicle that veered out of lane and caused a crash. The legal charge for this is called manslaughter.

  20. ElvisOctober 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I am aghast at “proud to be an American”‘s statement.

    Myself, I am proud to be an American cyclist.

    I am aware that more people here bicycle than drive, and am not bothered by that — provided they can refrain from killing people. I have no desire to force people who are safe and competant drivers from their cars, simply to enforce existing laws that require they not use those cars carelessly.

    And the carelessness that this fellow ignores is not just a risk for cyclists. For your information, “Proud”, American drivers kill 40,000-60,000 of *each other* a year, too, not just cyclists. Think about that: you could be the next one to get fitted with a toe tag, even if you haven’t used a bicycle since 5th grade. Drivers have as much stake in enforcing safe use of the roads as those who ride bicycles or motorcycles.

  21. DaveOctober 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    It’s curious that heavy fines are levied for speeding in construction zones and you can bet that anyone ‘losing control’ and striking a construction worker would face serious charges (even though the construction might create road hazards). And yet cyclists are second class citizens to the point where no charges are filed?

  22. T.October 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    @proud. not all cyclists are hippies and peace lovers. but lets work this out peacefully, so cyclists don’t have to start carrying firearms to defend themselves. It would be completely legal if done right btw.

  23. rexOctober 13, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    this is what we get when we as a hole nation do’nt speek-up! i ride about 60 miles a day and have to see what it is realy about . vote for cyclist rights
    !

  24. PostcardsOctober 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I agree with the first poster – everyone should send a postcard with this photo to the governor’s office. Go to this web site to upload the photo, and send it for FREE:

    http://hippopost.com/

    Address:
    Office of the Governor
    P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711

    OR give them a call:

    Citizen’s Opinion Hotline [for Texas callers] :
    (800) 252-9600

    Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers] :
    (512) 463-1782

  25. MerrydeathOctober 24, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Dear all anti-bike people, I challenge you to a competition: My butt vs. your butt in spandex, my heart vs. your heart on a treadmill, my LDLs vs. your LDSs. I think you’ll all turn out to be losers.

  26. MikeOctober 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Is every politician from Texas a flaming a$$hole or do they simply think drunk driving or murderous intent is a normal state of being? Why would anyone in their right mind VETO a bill to allow a safe passing lane for cyclists. Maybe it will taking running over one of their own on a bike before THEY get it. >:-(

  27. WayneJune 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Wow, Hey Lance. Don’t you know the Governor? I know you have other causes that you are passionate about but you did take on Wilbonn from ESPN. One phone call and I am guessing he starts to see it differently.

    So its OK to have a momentary lapse in attention and kill someone in Texas? Hard to believe. Even an accident the guy crossed over the white line on the side of the road and killed two people. Are we not responsible for even accidental actions. Or can we say, oops, sorry, and we are off the hook?

    Please Mr. Texas Governor wake up and ride a bike. Ohh, by the way, look what all that oil is doing to your coastline. Is that sustainalble?

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