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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters January 25, 2015

8/12/2014 12:57:00 PM
Letters: No action in bicycle death is not justice


Far too often, when a bicyclist is killed by a motorist, the bicyclist is blamed. Even when the driver of the vehicle is the responsible party, the driver will frequently get off with a "slap on the wrist."

I feel sorry for Mr. Shaum who killed bicyclist Lynn Hartline on Cornville Road on May 17 during the bicycle event to raise money for multiple sclerosis. It was a tragedy for both of them. But he appeared to disregard safety issues to slow down and wait until he was sure he could safely go around the cyclists.

All along roadways in Yavapai County Share the Road signs have been erected and several were along the course of the roadway that he traveled. The County Prosecutor has not made a decision as to whether to prosecute Mr. Shaum and if he is to be prosecuted, I am sure there is debate as to what prosecutorial action to take.

I hope there is some action taken by the County Prosecutor's office to provide some degree of satisfaction to the family of Lynn Hartline as well as the bicycle community.

To keep the case in review ad infinitum or drop the case and not take any action is not a just outcome.

Bob Richards


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Article comment by: So 'Clear lack...' how long should it take to determine the answer?

3 months and counting- should it really take that long to determine this? Perhaps everyone will just forget it ever happened?

Also- there was no lack of comprehension... Lack of was supposing and of course supposed firstly that the chances were there that the bike swerved... therefore blaming the bike rider.

Either way, should it take 3 months to sort out the details? Really? Were it your loved one we can venture a guess you might not be so patient.

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Article comment by: Clear Lack of Reading Comprehension!

"It's clear" exemplify s a lack of "reading comprehension"! With eyes glazed over apparently didn't pick up the lack of blame in the referenced post, but rather the possibilities of complicity and the presumption of innocence. No one has been charged or found guilty, except of course by "It's clear" and those who aren't capable of accepting the facts and the outcome.

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Article comment by: It is clear that 'lack of a thought' indeed lacks thought.

Blame the rider once again. Expected and sad.

10 seconds to save a life folks.

10 seconds...

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014
Article comment by: Lack of A Thought........

Gosh, what if the evidence indicates a likely hood that the bicyclist swerved just enough to be clipped by the car? Then are you saying the driver still is at fault? I thought in America we are supposed to be presumed "innocent" until proved guilty. From what I'm reading, it just depends on what you want to believe happened, not what the evidence and facts bear out! My goodness isn't that also what's happening in the Missouri town right now as well! Guess you'd rethink what you'd want people to think if you had been directly implicated!

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Article comment by: A Thought

Here is a thought. How about having the motorist do community service to a multiple sclerosis foundation in Lynn's name. That way she will be honored and he will "do time" for failing to control his vehicle. Seems simple to me.

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Article comment by: Vindictive Retribution

Mr. Richards, just what outcome will satisfy you? Obviously you have concluded that the driver was criminally negligent, by your insistence on prosecution. "To keep the case in review ad infinitum or drop the case and not take any action is not a just outcome" you state. Dogmatist that you seem to be, I'm sure you can't envision that the event promoters and bicyclist's who participated should be considered for prosecution as well. Perhaps they should all be charged with organizing and participating in an activity that negligently and willfully created an unsafe road hazard for motorist's. GASP! But there are "share the road" signs you say! The course selection did not adequately consider riders safety. The participants could easily "opt out" if they judged the conditions unsafe. Did any?
It was a tragic accident for all. The outcome of poor judgment by ALL cannot be altered by vindictive prosecution. If common sense were more common, good judgement would also assume responsibility for risk. Your perception that "justice" or "satisfaction" can be achieved by governmental action in this case is testament to the failure to accept risk and responsibility for ones actions, which is pandemic in our country.

Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Article comment by: Brian Carlson

Cornville Road is not safe for riding bicycles. It's as simple as that. Anyone who rides a bicycle on Cornville Road is taking a good chance that they may hit by a car. The car is bigger and will always win.

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

I would rather ride facing traffic to avoid being
slaughtered from behind.Give back some
control to save lifes.
to save lifes.

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Article comment by: Critiquer community

Naturally, balkanizers of humanity will assign people with particular characteristics to virtual communities.

But…"bicycle community?!"

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Article comment by: Corrections needed

Wondering where Dr. Richards gets the idea that the bicyclist is blamed "far too often" in a fatal accident.

That's new to me, and I've been bicycling for 50 years here and many other places. And seen way too many bicycle fatalities.

Frankly, what appears obvious to Dr. Richards isn't so obvious to the County Attorney's office doing the investigation. That tells us something.

And regardless of the outcome with the driver, closure will not be complete until we determine how much liability is the fault of the organizers and planners of this race for selecting this obviously dangerous road.

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