Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Time For Pause

I am not sure what to say about this. We all want to put the face of happiness and health on the face of bicycling, but every once on awhile, we are reminded of just what we face when we leave the house each day-


Bicyclist, Young Son Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash on Valencia Street

by Bryan Goebel on July 2, 2009

A San Francisco bicyclist is asking for help locating witnesses who
may have seen a hit-and-run crash Wednesday on Valencia Street -- one
of the city's most popular bicycling corridors -- that left him with a
broken back. Andrew Bennett wrote about the crash in an email he sent
to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition:

Yesterday, at approximately 11:30 am, I was riding my bicycle
northbound on Valencia with my 4-year-old-son behind me on his add-on
tandem. While crossing 18th on the green light, a silver Chrysler PT
cruiser gunned it through the red light, striking me and my 4-year-
old, sending our bikes flying. It's a miracle that either of us are
alive and even more so that my son's injuries were not life
threatening. I sustained injury to the spine and now have a broken
back. The driver did not stop.

Bennett said there were several witnesses but no one was able to
provide a more thorough description of the car or license plate number
to the SFPD. He believes several witnesses left the scene on the
assumption that other witnesses were providing information.

I believe, based on several things said at the scene, that there
will be zero effort put into the solving of this crime by SFPD ( due
in large part to incomplete info) and I need help from the community
in tracking this criminal down. We're likely to be bankrupted by
medical costs even with insurance: I want to do everything legally
possible to bring this person to justice. I owe it to my family and to
my community.

An SFPD spokesperson said the department typically does not release a
lot of information about "injury accidents" for "litigation reasons."
The crash on Valencia Street is the second one we've heard of in the
last two weeks.

Bennett is also trying to contact some bicyclists who were on the
scene. "I would like to reach them both to express my thanks and to
inquire if they have any information that might get this driver off
the streets before someone dies."

Anyone with information is urged to call the SFPD's hit-and-run unit
at 553-1641.

Perhaps the time has come for those of us who ride in SF to get together and have a little sit in and hat passing. This family needs to see us out there supporting them, and this motorist needs to see that there are many eyes out watching. This time, we don't need a ghost bike, thank goodness, but that does not mean we shouldn't speak out

What do you think?


  1. holy s***. i'm speechless. that's a constant fear of mine when i'm biking with the boys. if you do a virtual hat pass, please let me know, i will contribute. (jjfantastic_at_hotmail_com)

  2. thank you, JJ. I will be looking into it, this week. If someone has already set something up, I will post the link. If not, I will find out how to do it, myself.

  3. I am just seeing this. this is horrible and as you can imagine a huge fear.

    if there is anyway I can help from MA let me know.

    WIll be thinking of them

  4. There are many aspects of this that are disturbing. Hit and run is bad enough, but the reaction from the police has been horrid.

    What I hope people realize is that this is not really a bike story. This cold have happened to anyone in that intersection, it just happened to be a cyclist. What makes it a bike story is that the SFPD do not feel they need to pursue it and have not followed up on evidence given by multiple parties.