Five people had to be hospitalized after a police cruiser slammed into a pack of cyclists.
The officers were responding to a domestic violence call, traveling southbound on Cesar Chavez near Barrio Logan. A convertible riding with the top down was traveling east on Harbor Drive at the same moment, and collided with the police car.
The couple in the convertible says they had a green light, but the police cruiser appeared “in a split second” a few feet in front of them. The driver tried to hit the brakes, but the two collided, sending the police car spinning into a nearby bicycle group.
The eight cyclists were travelers from Brazil who had rented bikes to tour the city. One bike ended up underneath the police cruiser, and the car’s back window was shattered.
Five people were transported to the hospital complaining of various injuries, including the couple in the convertible. The victims suffered everything from bumps and bruises to broken bones, but all the cyclists were wearing helmets, which many believe helped minimize the damage.
Witnesses say the police car had lights on, but no sirens as it barreled into the intersection. That would explain why it took the convertible driver so long to see it:
“At the very last second, I saw him and then, the impact and then [we] spun. Horrible,” the woman recalls.
Was a Police Officer Responsible for My Bicycle Accident?
Every driver is required to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles, but they have to let people know they are coming. Without the lights and siren, speeding police cars can put pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists in serious danger.
Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable users on the road. San Diego’s new 3-foot buffer zone law and other measures try to protect riders from reckless drivers, but many accidents still end in serious injury or death.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, speak to an attorney who knows cycling. Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist himself, so he is dedicated to protecting San Diego’s bicycle enthusiasts. Share your story with him today. For more information on cyclists rights and bike safety, follow Dudek Law Firm on Facebook or Twitter.
[Did You Know: Up to 98 percent of North American bike commuters own a helmet, and 86 percent say they wear it every time they ride.]
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer