Hugh Pickens writes:
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who fatally struck cyclist Milton Olin Jr. while he was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer. “Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his (Mobile Digital Computer),” according to the declination letter prepared by the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office and released Wednesday. “He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed. Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.”
To establish the crime of vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Wood was criminally negligent. While Wood was texting shortly before the collision, there was no evidence he was texting or doing anything else that would have distracted him at the time of the collision. Olin’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county, the Sheriff’s Department and the deputy, alleging driver negligence and seeking to obtain more information about the incident. “Just because the law allows someone to do something while driving doesn’t mean they are allowed to do something unsafely while driving,” says Eric Bruins. “Hitting someone from behind is very clear evidence that whatever was going on in that car was not safe and should have been considered negligent.”
Update: A day after prosecutors declined to file charges against a distracted sheriff’s deputy who fatally struck a cyclist in Calabasas in December, an official with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said it is launching its own administrative probe into the deputy’s behavior.
Meh, I'm still tottering on the "Fuck you, man" angle in response to your post, mainly for the "he deserved it and it's his fault" lines. No, he didn't. You're blaming the victim. You claim you think it shouldn't be this way, but then you go ahead and continue blaming the victim, which just perpetuates the problem. You've decided the situation is so bad that it's not worth saving - so it's his fault, not the fault of the officer that wasn't paying attention.
But the sport of cycling seems to be growing, not shrinking. I don't have numbers but it seems like every time I turn around there are more and more people doing it. Every time I go on a ride, I see at least two or three other cyclists out there - and this is near DC, where the drivers exhibit a special kind of insanity.
In your world, what isn't a fundamentally suicidal activity? Driving anywhere - lots of people are killed in automobile accidents too. Staying at home is a fundamentally suicidal activity - people fall off ladders and die.
And your "death by cop" comment just ices the cake of your absurd comment, as if the victim of this crime could have predicted a cop would get distracted and run him over.
I get it now, you're just trolling to get this site's numbers up, aren't you? And I've fallen into the trap.
Part of the problem is in the widespread belief that cycling is always optional, as you refer to it as a hobby or sport. For many it is, but for many others for one reason or another it is the most reasonable form of transportation available.
> But the sport of cycling seems to be growing, not shrinking.
It seems paradoxical but the more people ride bicycles on city streets, the less likely they are to be injured in traffic accidents. [sciencedaily.com]
> You've decided the situation is so bad that it's not worth saving - so it's his fault, not the fault of the officer that wasn't paying attention.
No he's genuine in being a total asshole.