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June 11, 2010

Oops! Fiddling with Flip Flops, Kills Cyclist

In today's Post Gazette:
Driver was untangling flip-flops when he killed cyclist
Friday, June 11, 2010
By Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A teen driver was distracted when his flip-flops got tangled with his truck's pedals, causing him to strike and kill a bicyclist last month in Indiana Township, Allegheny County homicide investigators said today.

No charges have been filed against the 17-year-old boy who had been driving the pickup truck. The District Attorney's office will review the investigative reports to determine whether charges should be filed.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Conners said this morning the matter is under review.

Donald Parker, 52, of Hampton, died May 27 after his bicycle was struck from behind by the boy's pickup truck as the two traveled up a steep grade on Harts Run Road near Dorseyville Road.

The boy told police he had been on his way to school at Fox Chapel Area High School when his flip-flops got tangled in the floor pedals.

The driver, while the truck still was moving, reached down to untangle his feet when the vehicle struck Mr. Parker, who had been riding near the berm ahead of the truck.

"The flip-flops caused a momentary distraction that took [the driver] to the berm, and he struck the bicyclist," said county police Lt. William Palmer.

The boy's name has not been released.
Why is it a tolerable (even permissable) error to kill a cyclist in Pennsylvania? Why is killing a legally operating cyclist (with a wife and kids) treated the same as killing a deer?
Question: In Pennsylvania, what's the difference between
               killing a deer and killing a bicyclist?
Answer:People feel sorry for the poor deer.

Does vehicular manslaughter mean anything in Pennsylvania? Why do we keep secret the identity of people who kill bicyclists, but we release the names of the dead victim?

How did we end the pattern of deaths caused by drunk driving? Punishment and publicity. How can we get the equivalent of MADD? Can we call it PAKC, People Against Killing Cyclists? Please contribute your suggestion for catchy alliterative names in the comments.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably you've seen the discussion at http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/cyclist-killed-on-harts-run-rd/ already. Maybe not?

Anonymous said...

much discussion on the bike-pgh message board

MH said...

As to why they haven't print the driver's name, do they do that for minors who haven't been charged as an adult? If they released the name, it would probably mean they've already decided on charges.

Anonymous said...

Not a very smart place to be riding a bike though...

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